Two of the state’s leading jazz artists have new albums out this year – both among the best of their respective careers.

Greg Abate and Dan Moretti have certainly made their mark in the jazz world. Both have recorded numerous albums over the years, as leaders, and in support of famous stars like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Phil Woods, and Dr. John. And both have been inducted into the RI Music Hall of Fame.

Abate’s new album is a tribute to the legendary jazz pianist and NEA Jazzmaster Kenny Barron. Magic Dance: The Music of Kenny Barron was recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s famed studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and includes Barron himself on keyboards.

The two-disc set is filled with over a dozen of Barron’s songs, originally recorded over a 50-year career. Abate’s sound varies on the album, joyful, yet contemplative at moments, with Coltrane-esque sheets of sound on tunes like the cheery “Sunflower.” The album is a hit – and currently six weeks at #1 on the national JazzWeek radio chart.

Dan Moretti’s Tres Libre is a diverse and upbeat release. Moretti’s groove showcases funky Latin-inspired substructures, with dazzling solo lines, from the sax player and his support crew. Jazz writer Ken Frankling notes,

“New England–based saxophonist Dan Moretti with a strong underpinning of funk and Latin rhythms, his longstanding favorites, Tres Libre celebrates his creativity as a conceptualist and improviser.”

These new releases sound as fresh and authentic as anything in jazz music. Want to support these homegrown artists? Show your support for jazz music and purchase their albums directly.

Click here to buy Greg Abate’s latest release Magic Dance.

Click here to buy Dan Moretti’s latest release Tres Libre.

Both artists are also back to touring and have gigs currently scheduled. Check their web sites below for more information.

https://www.gregabate.com/

https://danmoretti.com/

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Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music and more for What'sUpNewp, Providence Monthly, SO RI, and The Bay. He DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse" Tuesday nights, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.