Whether a musician is a newbie or a seasoned veteran, progression is a main part of their craft. The successful ones are never satisfied; continuously looking for new approaches, tones and structures to experiment with. With a resume that includes playing with legends such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Dr. John, Dan Moretti has nothing to prove. However, he’s still searching for something that intrigues his talents on saxophone. The Wakefield resident is releasing a new jazz album titled “Tres Libre” on April 30 via Roots Grooves Records, and it shows a new side of his range in terms of style and depth. Each track on the album has Moretti being accompanied by two other musicians or sounds while embracing the trio as a nucleus for sonic creativity.
There is a total of ten musicians involved in the album, and a variety of instruments being used, including drums, congas, electric fretted and fretless bass, electric guitar and a pandeiro, among others. Moretti plays Soprano, Alto and Tenor saxophone on numerous tracks while also playing an acoustic bass and keyboard.
“The players on the album represent a broad range of styles and contribute to the sense of what makes a trio setting creative,” Moretti says on the vision behind the album and the people involved. “The inspiration was intended to open the doors for folks to be able to hear and experience a very diverse recording in sequence, and at the end, have the feeling like the music connected and had an overall effect. I have had folks that would not normally listen to this kind of range of styles get back to me and say that the more they listen, the more they like the whole recording. To me, that was the point. There is a specific feeling that I wanted to try to communicate in each piece.”
“A local fact that connects this record to South County is the album cover,” he added. “It is a shot I took of the big boulder in the parking area off Main Street in Wickford that has a Viking ‘Rune’ inscription on it. I have always had an affinity for European contemporary music, and that is reflected on some of the pieces on the album.”
There is an assortment of gems within “Tres Libre,” and “Jim Brown’s Cousin” is definitely one of them. Moretti plays the alto and is joined by Marty Richards on drums and Marty Ballou on bass, with the three of them delving into funk and free jazz for a blissfully complex track. “The Inner Side” features a hypnotic keyboard loop created by Moretti, with him also playing the melody on Tenor while being accompanied by Michael Farquharson on electric bass. There’s something spooky about this one, and it also has some ambient qualities as well. Another great track is “Escrito Jazz Libre,” a Latin-inspired tune featuring Jorge Najarro on the congas and Hernando Isaza Cano on baby bass, with Moretti’s feverish skills on the Alto shining through.
These are a few of my favorite songs on the new album, but I definitely suggest listening to it from front to back for a fully immersive listening experience. Each track stands out from the rest, nothing sounds the same, and it takes the ears on an audial expedition. Moretti will be resuming his “First Sunday Jazz” series with The Hammond Boys on May 2 at 5 p.m. on the front lawn of Pump House Music Works on 1464 Kingstown Road in Wakefield, and there’s a good chance he’ll be performing a few tracks off the new album live. Make sure to go and see for yourself while checking out some of the best musicians in the Ocean State. For more info on where to purchase and stream “Tres Libre” when it comes out, log on to Moretti’s website at danmoretti.com.