by Russell Trunk
|Title – ‘Tres Libre’
Artist – Dan Moretti
For those unaware, Dan Moretti’s twentieth album, the just-released Tres Libre (out via Roots Grooves Records) represents a new side of Saxophonist Dan Moretti’s range of jazz styles and broad depth of composing and performance abilities.
Saxophonist Dan Moretti has performed throughout the United States, Europe, The Middle East, Africa, The Pacific Rim, and Russia. His musical influences and compositions range from straight-jazz and soul-jazz to funk, Latin-jazz, and classical music.
Over the last 30 years, he has played with a variety of artists across the musical spectrum. A shortlist includes Nile Rodgers, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Cornell Dupree, Jerry Jemmott, The Temptations, Mike Stern, Omar Hakim, Jimmy Cobb, Dave Samuels, Dave Liebman, Marvin Stamm, Nat Adderly, The Crusaders, and Dr. John.
Dan’s early recording career, which started in the late ’80s, placed him in the funk-fusion world with his 1st international release on the Black Hawk label Sometime Inside.
Then teaming up with notables like Dave Samuels (vibes), Mike Stern, and Steve Kahn (guitar), Pugie Bell (drums), and Mark Egan (bass), he continued with Point of Entry and Waiting for the Call on Par Records.
Moving into the Latin-Jazz world in the ’90s and 2000’s he has recordings with GRAMMY-winning artists Oscar Stagnaro (bass) and Mark Walker (drums), including legendary NEA Jazz Master saxophonist Dave Liebman on Latin Genesis.
In the mid-2000’s he traveled to Italy to discover his roots and co-write and produce a 13-piece Italian ethnic orchestra on an album called The Journey, combining jazz and Italian roots music on the Dodicilune Label.
During the mid-2000’s he continued to record American releases with a series of Once Through recordings, an eclectic series of 3 albums with predominately original compositions.
In 2009, his album Tres Muse featured a set of originals in a trio setting, and in 2014, Moretti released his chart-topping album Hammond Boys, a soul-jazz tribute, which spent over 20 weeks on the American jazz charts.
In 2018, an all-original acoustic jazz quartet combined with string quartet brought forth his album Invoke on the Dodicilune label.
Now, twenty recordings later, Moretti releases Tres Libre, a fresh, diverse slice of Dan’s evolving musical self.
1) ‘Jim Brown’s Cousin’ (5:01)
Opening on the joyously upbeat and perky, bass and drum work of ‘Jim Brown’s Cousin’ and the slow, Pink Panther-esque, funky steps of ‘Mumbo Jumbo,’ they are backed seamlessly by the lush orchestrations of the magnificently dulcet ‘Pandeiro-Funk’ and then we get the deep and throaty bass and key work of ‘The Inner Side.’
Next up is the longest track on the album at close to eight minutes and it’s a quite harmonious coming together of both conga and baby bass for ‘Escrito Jazz Libre,’ which is in turn backed by the drum-led, keyboard enhanced ‘When You Leave This World,’ the album coming to a close on the sax-imbued gossamer of ‘The Missing Breath.’