Justin Morell Quintet

The Music of Steely Dan

Sonicfrenzy Records

Justin Morell, guitar; Tom Peterson, saxophone; John Daversa, trumpet; Todd Sickafoose, bass; John Guerin, drums

Your correspondent knows nothing of the music of Steely Dan, but these musicians take a fair shot at correcting the omission. It is not the front line that really makes this set work, but all the more John Guerin's really fine drumming that gives impulse and accent to the whole. Morell opens up on I Got The News, and, again, it is Guerin who supports and interacts so well. The Royal Scam has so much going on and most of it is executed very well. It is bassist Sickafoose who shines here and takets the honors with Guerin if you can dig in past the horns. There are one or two surprising moments of melody in the set. The horns lay down the word beautifully on Babylon Sisters. Morell is an un-pushy leader and the CD shines through the work of the guys in the back row.

by Lawrence Brazier

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