Archive for January 29th, 2014

Justin Morell Dectet – Subjects and Compliments

Normally, an ensemble of this size is referred to as a band, group or even orchestra. The term “dectet,” which is to 10 what quartet is to four, is not mainstream. That hardly matters, as the Justin Morell Dectet delivers with Subjects and Compliments (Sonic Frenzy Records, 2013).

This set of all-original music features guitarist Justin Morell with 10 other players. They are Bob Sheppard, alto and soprano saxophones; Ben Wendel, tenor saxophone and bassoon; Matt Otto, tenor saxophone; Phil O’Connor, bass clarinet, tenor and soprano saxophones; John Daversa, trumpet and flugelhorn; Alan Ferber, trombone; George Thatcher, bass trombone; Leonard Thompson, piano; Damian Erskine, bass; and Mark Ferber, drums.

“The Wobbler” is underscored by a nearly monotonous but playful piano beat. The horns blend for the quirky melody, punctuated by clever stick work by Mark Ferber. As things settle down, Erskine takes the bass out for a “let’s see where the wind takes us” jaunt, followed by Daversa’s own excursion. After the solos, bass and trombone unit for an alternate take on the melody. The piano reintroduces its original beat, setting up the song’s ending.

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