by Nolan DeBuke
Dan Moretti is certainly not a new name to jazz. He has spun countless albums since his early days now culminating into 30 years of spanning discography of seventeen releases as a leader. Overall, his discography features an extensive pallet of styles, which has led to collaborations with artists in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, Israel and Turkey. With his latest effort Invoke releasing on the Dodicilune Label in April of this year. The album adorns twelve original compositions and the lineup consists of Moretti on saxophone and flute. Mark Shilansky (piano), a consistent presence as a sideman on a multitude of recordings in his career tenure. Jesse Williams (bass), Steve Langone (drums), Bengisu Gokce (violin), Dan Lay (viola) and Marta Roma (cello).
The album has an esoteric melodic essence to it. The album focuses on textures as well as the musicality of each tune. Though in an ECM-esque vein, the core of the songs highlights much more of a melodic structure and cohesiveness. Moretti is once again inspired. On “Angel Silver,” his tone on flute is lush and refined. Cellist Marta Roma’s tone is warm and inviting. Moretti compositionally layers the intro to create a building theme to the song. The colorizations are dark and moody and offer an ascending feel of built anticipation. Shilansky delicately colorizes with his solo, adding a sensitive yet highly musical solo with each pass, building in intensity. Moretti’s flute tone is gorgeous, his note choices on his solo are equally sustaining in service to the melody with enthused ideas. Williams’ bass solo is concise with impeccable intonation and attack. The track is bursting with pulchritude.
Alternatively, “The Ride,” offers a different feel of intrigue driving rhythm. Moretti is on tenor on this tune, his tone is robust, round and warm. One thing that stands true on every Moretti recording is the way he builds a solo. His choices always compliment the melody and are in facility of the composition itself. When needed he lays back and let’s the space talk, while at other times his arpeggiated lines are stabbing and terse. Digging into the bottom notes with clear command, while hitting the top notes with soaring precision.
Invoke is an apt title, as you listen to the program, its diversity of compositions will enthrall your senses and challenge your ear, but all with a unified binding that gives the album an overall atmosphere. Once again Moretti has put forth a worthy jazz album. Each musician puts forth not only stellar playing, but thoughtful and transcendent approaches that make this album a cut above in its listen.