Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

6

John Petrucelli Quintet: The Way

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
The debut release from saxophonist John Petrucelli packs a mean punch. For his first outing, this Pittsburgh-based tenor man put together a lengthy, two-disc program that showcases his writing and, of greater note, his chops.

In some ways, this can be seen as a musical shock and awe campaign. Petrucelli's muscular tenor proves to be a dominant and somewhat domineering force, steamrolling through this music and putting on shows of athleticism—darting and daring sprints, keening gusts, Coltrane-ish "sheets of sound," and the like. But with that strength comes the passion that elevates this music. Petrucelli is no vainglorious gunslinger; he's a musician with a burning desire to create and explore. Hear the way he artfully navigates his way through "I Hear A Rhapsody," an oldie reinvigorated through the use of metric sleight of hand; note the manner in which his agile tenor flies over guest drummer Victor Lewis' driving beat on "The Flip"; and observe the way he works the music up to a fever pitch during "Moment Of Grace." It's all clear evidence that Petrucelli is a saxophone heavyweight.

While a good portion of this album is given up to flights of intensity, speed and fire aren't the full story. Petrucelli works with a group of musicians who assist him in creating wide dynamic and emotional arcs. "Arrows Of Light"—with measured interactions between Petrucelli and guitarist Peter Park, boisterous tenor work, shadowy bass soloing, and an explosive finish—proves that point, as does the album ending "Boots," a number that opens on calm waters before moving in a more resolute direction.

A few minor quibbles can be made here—exhaustion can occasionally accompany the exhilaration that comes with Petrucelli's solo escapades and a little concision could've made this a stronger and more balanced album—but some may fairly view those points as acts of splitting hairs. The truth of the matter is that John Petrucelli is an outsized saxophone talent and The Way is bursting at the seams with powerful music.

Track Listing: Disc 1-I Hear A Rhapsody; Prism; Hil's Blues; The Flip; For Dawn; The Way. Disc 2- Moment Of Grace; Gallop's Gallop; Early Autumn; Arrows Of Longing; Boots.

Personnel: John Petrucelli: tenor saxophone; Peter Park: guitar; Victor Gould: piano; Alex Claffy: bass; Gusten Rudolph: drums; Victor Lewis: drums (Disc 1: 4, 6; Disc 2: 3).

Title: The Way | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Heaven" CD/LP/Track Review Heaven
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "The Apple Of No" CD/LP/Track Review The Apple Of No
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)" CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Glare of the Tiger" CD/LP/Track Review Glare of the Tiger
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Seems Like a Lifetime Ago 1977 - 1980" CD/LP/Track Review Seems Like a Lifetime Ago 1977 - 1980
by John Kelman
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "Cross My Palm With Silver" CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!