New England's Dan Moretti appears on his eleventh CD overall and his third with the supergroup "Once Through." The group's initial album was Once Through
in 2002 and they backed Moretti again on his highly successful Stories
issued last year.
Since 1986, Moretti toured widely covering the USA, Europe, Russia and far-off India. Sharing the stage with Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, Mike Stern, Marvin Stamm and the Crusaders did much to expand Moretti's musical vocabulary. The new album displays many moods and flavors from New Orleans and Swing through Bop and Latin jazz. Passing Place
offers eleven tracks and ten are Moretti originals. The other is Wayne Shorter's "Virgo." The latter is in tribute to the leader's wife, daughter, mother and father, who are all "Virgo's." The blues tinged "Poydras Street" pays tribute to the home of the New Orleans Superdome. Oddly, Poydras Street crosses South Rampart and is only a block away from Perdido. Both streets are famous in the history of jazz. Perhaps Dan Moretti will launch a new jazz standard with his composition.
"Passing Place" is a haunting and beautiful tune featuring the leader but including some fine passages by bassist, Marty Ballou. It appears that Ballou is the bassist of choice in New England. Several recordings have passed over this desk in the last year drawing our attention to the popular bassist. Other favorites are the swinging "You Said What?" and "Compared To That." Jazz enthusiasts of all stripes will enjoy the funky "Kooksville" and the strutting "Monk's Walk." The latter features some fine piano by Paul Nagel who also appears on the B3 with Moretti's "Avant Blue." Fans of the avant-garde will be pleased with the closing track, "Ten & 8", freely improvised on a 10 and 8 note sequences. Guitarist, Bruce Bartlett and drummer Marty Richards shine on the closer featuring Moretti's soprano. Passing Place
is a winner.