Album Review: Tres Libre from Dan Moretti
Album: Tres Libre
Artist: Dan Moretti
Label: Roots Grooves Records
International saxophonist and composer Dan Moretti showcases his affinity for improvised jazz, Latin-infused funk, and ambient blues on his latest release Tres Libre. Moretti’s original compositions range from the contemplative musings of “The Missing Breath” to festive and bustling romps like “Jim Brown’s Cousin.” Moretti’s twentieth album, Tres Libre displays his depth as an improviser and performer.
Opening with the funk-induced merriment of “Jim Brown’s Cousin,” Moretti’s alto sax soars above the bustling beats of drummer Marty Richards and bassist Marty Balliou, generating a jaunty groove. Moving forward, the floating musings of Moretti’s sax give “Mumbo Jumbo” a smooth blues sheen as the palpitating splashes in the drumming and Ray Gennari’s bass project a gentle simmer in the belly of the track.
“Pandeiro-Funk” injects a Latin flare into the recording as the funky pandeiro playing of Marcus Santos silhouettes the ambient chords of Bruce Bartlett’s guitar and the wispy furls of Moretti’s soprano sax. Moretti changes his voice to wafting haunting textures in his tenor sax along “The Inner Side,” emoting a sense of sentimental lingering through the passages. Moretti lobes and withdraws squiggling tresses intermittently along “Escrito Jazz Libre,” a free jazz piece that features the bubbling conga beats of Cuban percussionist Jorge Najarro and Cuban baby-bass player Hernando Isaza Cano.
“When You Leave This World” is a jazz-inspired interpretation of a traditional Indian Bhajan with Marty Richards’s fluttering drum strikes twining around Moretti’s expressive saxophone wails. He demonstrates a reverence for the tune that is palpable. Closing with “The Missing Breath,” Moretti plays the soprano, tenor and alto saxophones imbuing a pensive mood that engulfs the listener in sheer tranquility. The music is influenced by one of Dan’s favorite artists, Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek.
Each track is performed as a trio, allowing the musicians to exercise freestyle musings and offering an openness that allows listeners to concentrate on each voice. The fluidity in the tracks provides an engaging listening experience that speaks loudly of Moretti’s depth as a creative improviser and intuitive performer.
Dan Moretti – tenor saxophone
Bruce Bartlett – guitar
Marcus Santos – pandeiro
Jorge Najarro – percussion
Hernando Isaza Cano – Cuban baby-bass
Marty Richards – drums
Marty Ballou – bass
Michael Farquharson – bass
Ray Gennari – bass