Whaling City Sound
Passing Place, like Moretti's earlier recordings, demonstrates tenorist/sopranoist's stylistic versatility. In an appealing program of his own compositions (plus Wayne Shorter's "Virgo"), Moretti shows a firm command of post-Coltrane straightahead swing and a feel for quiet introspection as well as the ability to play exciting rock and humorous funk. On several tracks, pianist Paul Nagel switches to the Hammond organ to help create a soul-jazz ambiance. In fact, rock and funk influences abound, with "Ten & 8" featuring rock's signature distorted guitar sound. And although "Monk's Walk" honors its namesake with its angular intensity, it also boasts a jaunty New Orleans-style drumbeat.
By contrast, on the title tune, Moretti's rubato soprano achieves a reflective, far away feeling over the rhythm section's fluid time conception, not unlike that of the Shorter tune. Moretti's cohorts--keyboardist Nagel, guitarist Bruce Bartlett, bassist Marty Ballou, drummer Marty Richards and percussionist Jorge Najaro--are all up for the occasion as well. The group's execution of this stylistically diverse repertoire is first class.