Moretto is recognized as one of the most active Argentine guitarists
playing in New York. With Bill McHenry on tenor saxophone, Phil Markowitz
on piano, Santi Debriano on bass and Vanderlei Pereira on drums, the
Martin Moretto Quintet releases its self-titled debut CD. The release has
eight original songs, all of which give the group plenty of room to
“Uritorco” opens the set with an easygoing, 3/4 pace. Moretto and McHenry
are out front, simultaneously playing different melodies. Markowitz’s solo
is part jazz, part classical. The leads also take turns. Pereira’s cymbals
accent key phrases.
“Iguazu” has a samba vibe, dictated largely by the rhythm set by Pereira
and Markowitz. Moretto gives some Metheny-like phrasing during his spot in
the lead, mixing in a few high-speed passes. The listener can visualize a
festival on the beaches of Bahia. Deep into the song, Pereira steps out in
a series of call-and-response exchanges with piano, sax and guitar,
effectively playing mini drum solos between the calls.
Extended song play usually means lengthy solos or numerous solos. Although
this CD has plenty of the latter, it’s more about the interaction among
the five musicians. Even when one of the leads stretches out, there’s
never a moment when the sense of group is lost. The set provides an hour’s
worth of listening – a fine debut for Moretto.