Monday , April 22 2024
This recording represents a tribute to the live spirit that was the essence of the '60s vibrant soul jazz era.

Music Review: Dan Moretti and the Hammond Boys – ‘Live at Chan’s’

Rooted in a hybrid of jazz, blues, funk, and soul, the live recording from Dan Moretti and the Hammond Boys taped at Chan’s Jazz Club fashions a signature sound honed from boogie woogie grooves and the shuffling movements of swing-emblazoned horns. The strutting notes of the bass anchor the tracks, while the easy flow of Moretti’s horns and the honeyed timbres of Dave Limina’s Hammond organ coat the melodies in a bluesy sheath. Nostalgia and modern meet in the live recording, broadening the foundation of the Americana catalog.

Blues is another chapter in the Great American Songbook which Moretti and the Hammond Boys draw inspiration from to form organically milled harmonies. A glint of formulaic motifs are mixed with improvised phrases and splashes of impromptu crests in “Free for All,” as Moretti helms “Soul Underneath” with the flute, which leads the cavalcade of smoky blues drumbeats and gently splayed grooves sowed by the bass.

Dan MorettiDuke Robillard’s guitar resonates an island-tinged bounce in “No. 1 Green Street,” as the saxophone flares and toots, moving to its own rhythm. The organ and saxophone rotate alongside one another without clashing or colliding, but they always sound like a well-matched pair in “Twistin’ the Jug.” The chorus line kicks of the drums are crowned by frilly guitar chords and the serpentine-like murmurs of the Hammond organ, and the chiseled toots of the saxophone add a touch of jazz to the tune.

The smooth strides of the rhythm section in “Ronnie’s Bonnies” are enhanced by the agile wiggles of the saxophone, and swirling guitar chords drift into the bluesy concentration of “Low Down.” The guitar riffs weave an attractive narration with the sax and organ inputting their voices into the vignettes. The sax displays a freestyle shuffle in “Moanin’,” which transitions to the boogie woogie rhapsody of “Shuffle Twist.” The flouncy lifts of the saxophone traveling along “Da Du Dah” render a blissful sonorous to the track, surging with an infectious cheerfulness.

Implementing properties of soul, jazz, funk, and blues, Live at Chan’s from Dan Moretti and the Hammond Boys shows a genuine affinity for Americana-style blues. The recording celebrates the kinetic energy that comes out in live performers when they are brought together and placed in the position of tapping into their imaginations to structure moving harmonies.


Dan Moretti – flute, tenor, and soprano saxophones; Duke Robillard – guitar; Dave Limina – Hammond organ; Jesse Williams – acoustic and electric bass; Lorne Entress – drums


“Moanin’,” “Shuffle Twist,” “Da Du Dah,” “Free for All,” “Soul Underneath,” “No. 1 Green Street,” “Twistin’ the Jug,” “Ronnie’s Bonnies,” “Low Down,” “Soul Shouting”

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About susanfrancesny

Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in eastern Long Island.

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