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Dan Moretti and Once Through: Passing Place

Dan McClenaghan By

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When I first heard saxophonist/bandleader Dan Moretti's Once Through, I loved the sound and proclaimed it "a wonderful debut." Moretti promptly wrote me (isn't email a great thing) to say that the release was his ninth as a leader. He was polite but insistent that I fix the published review. I complied, explaining that the sound on the disc seemed so fresh that I assumed the effort was from a very talented artist who was new to the scene.

Passing Through is Dan Moretti's eleventh disc as a leader, his third with the band that claims the title "Once Through." The sound covers a lot of genres—mainstream, funk, Latin, even free improvisation on the closer, "10 and 8"—and, amazingly, Moretti and company do it without loosing a cohesive thread, straight through the recording. Credit the group simpatico and Dan Moretti's focused vision.

The set opens with the driving, straight-ahead "Present Tense," followed by the funky "Avant Blue," featuring keyboardist Paul Nagel anchoring things with the cool breeze of the B3 organ. "Monk's Walk"—for Thelonious, of course—has a playful feeling, with Moretti on soprano: marvelous. I hadn't noted his straight horn chops before, but he has a very solid sound.

The level of musicality is on the disc is obvious all around, but what really makes the set is the mix—straight-ahead, funk grooves, Latin, swing—all done with a seamless eye on the total package. The combo chemistry is always right on, everything fitting together like the pieces of a puzzle.

The best of Dan Moretti's "Once Through" series, and they're all excellent.

Visit Dan Moretti on the web.


Track Listing: Present Tense; Avant Blue; Monk's Walk; Compared to That; Passing Place; Kooksville; You Said What?; Poydras Street; Rhumba's Not Home; Virgo; Ten & 8.

Personnel: Dan Moretti: tenor and soprano saxophones; Paul Nagel: piano and Hammond organ; Bruce Bartlett: electric guitar; Marty Ballou: accoustic and electric bass; Jorge Najaro: congas and bongos; Marty Richards: drums.

Title: Passing Place | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound

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