The follow up to the impressive Ballads release finds tenor saxophonist Michael Pedicin and his band digging deeper, going outside the musical comfort zone normally associated a player of Pedicin's immense talents to give us a look at his influences in a warm live setting.
Taking a slightly more eclectic route we are treated to tune such as "Impressions" and "Africa" which are two of his three Coltrane covers. One of the most engaging tunes on the release is the Joey Calderazzo tune "Midnight Voyage." Michael Pedicin may be one of the finest tenor players some of you have not become acquainted with and you should fix that immediately. There is a raw edge but accessible tone and phrasing that Pedicin puts on display in this amazing live set that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Pedicin can play with anyone. The sound quality is one of the better recorded live sounds you may come across with the release having been produced by Joseph Donofrio, best known for his stellar work on Pat Martino's Grammy nominated Blue Note recordings.
Pedicin readily admits he favors playing live over studio work. To quote Pedicin, "With a live audience, you just play." That he does, and his working band is feeling it every step of the way. Pedicin does knock off a couple of beautiful ballads in "I Want To Talk About You" and "Say It." The Coltrane cover of "Impressions" is dialed back slightly but no major rework, just Pedicin placing his own indelible mark on a classic with respect, dignity and a high degree of professionalism.
Michael Pedicin is now 64 and seemingly at the top of his game. Pedicin's view of the artistic community and some of necessary evils are perhaps a reason he earned his Ph.D in psychology and he extends his services in private practise by specializing in helping the creative person. Pedicin's artistic gift extend well beyond the stage and while his musical resume includes Maynard Ferguson, Stevie Wonder and David Bowie, there is still plenty of gas left in the tank and the jazz community is better for it.
Pedicin and his formidable quintet hit this one out of the park. One of the better straight ahead live releases in perhaps a decade.
Tracks: Theme For Ernie; Impressions; Midnight Voyage; Say It; Like Sonny; Song For My Mother; I Want To Talk About You; Africa.
Personnel: Michael Pedicin: tenor saxophone; Jonnie Valentino: guitar; Jim Ridl: piano; Andy Lalasis: acoustic bass; Bob Shomo: drums.