Dan Moretti & Once Through: Passing Place

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.