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January/February 2004

Dan Moretti and Once Through
Stories
Whaling City Sound

On Stories, Dan Moretti and Once Through offer a program of Moretti originals (plus Lennon and McCartney's "And I Love Her") designed to cover a variety of grooves and feelings. Each tune is dedicated to a person, place or situation, the tenor and soprano saxophonist says in his liner notes. Overall, he is a lyrical player whose clean tenor lines may remind you of Stan Getz.

Once Through benefits solidly from bassist Marty Ballou and drummer Marty Richards, a rhythm team that has backed bluesman Duke Robillard. Keyboardist Tim Ray and guitarist Bruce Bartlett contribute different harmonic colors from tune to tune, giving the performances more variety than your basic piano and jazz guitar sound. A Fender Rhodes keyboard groove defines "Pelican Blues." The guitar plays staggered unison figures with the tenor on "And I Love Her." (There's also bowed bass here.) Bartlett plays organ on "Cousin Hal."

A couple of Moretti's originals are designed for a Coltrane-like spiritual effect, with Richards' Elvin Jones-like accompaniment plenty effective. "Crescent Walk" and "Club 43" mine the New Orleans second-line groove. "The Moment," a slow bossa nova (with Brazilian vocalist Marcelle Berger), was inspired by Wayne Shorter, Moretti says.

Moretti is a supple player. His soprano tends more toward the willowy approach than the shrill, crying approach. His tenor eschews bluntness and rides the melodic curves smoothly. This album is a well-rounded example of his pleasing style.

Originally published in January/February 2004
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