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Saxophonist Dan Moretti should be better known. He should have a profile on the level of a Chris Potter or an Eric Alexander. But underappreciation is a frequent way of life in jazz. And if Moretti isn't as well known as he should be, he just keeps workingleader or co-leader on ten CDs to date, including last year's marvelous Once Through, a bunch of distinctive covers (with one Moretti original) of Monk and Milt Jackson and other classics. His stark and definitive take on Bill Withers' R&B hit, "Ain't No Sunshine" told a sad, weary, lonely story of heartache and love lost.
With his new release, Dan Moretti and Once Through have more Stories to tell.
This time around the saxophonist is putting his originals front and center: straight ahead with "Cousin Hal"; hard bopping on the way "Straight to Bed"; then the Wayne Shorter-inspired bossa groove, "The Moment," featuring the honey-sweet vocals of Brazilian songstress, Marcelle Berger; and three ephemeral John Coltrane flavored dream songs, "Midnight Call, November Sun; and the CD's only non-original, The Beatles' "And I Love Her."
The band's take on the Fab Four tune is oddly gorgeous. A simple love song at heart, Moretti and crew turn it into a mystical listening experiece during their partial disassembly of the melody. Breathtaking!
This Moretti-led Once Through is a great band, one of those outfits that seems a convergence of musical personalities coalescing into a superior entity, creating a set brimming with depth and beauty.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.