By: Edward Blanco

Australian guitarist Peter Petrucci considers himself a very modern musician and his music does indeed affirm this conclusion. This Way Out is his latest new project, and with the exception of the Miles Davis tune “Side Car,” and Pat Metheny’s “James,” presents a selection of originals where he attempts to blend “free style” improvised music with the more traditional jazz sound. A challenging production for sure but a successful and strikingly convincing one at that.

Petrucci records with his core rhythm-based trio of bassist Sam Anning and drummer David Jones and augments the group’s sound with saxophonist Jamie Oehlers to make it interesting. The opening statement, “Tomorrow’s Passage” provides little clue of what’s to come with its easy-going soft texture, this piece travels the light road with a warm melody offering the guitarist plenty of space to showcase his crisp guitar-playing style. “Midnight Morning” is another traditional jazz number featuring pleasurable saxophone phrases from Oehlers in the most ambitious piece of the disc at eight-minutes plus. In contrast, the title track delivers the first taste of the free style improvised sound that the leader weaves through the album.

Metheny’s “James” provides one of the more memorable moments of this recording as Petrucci takes center stage and delivers a wonderfully tasteful solo performance. The group once again ventures into airy territory on the Davis tune “Side Car” as the leader demonstrates his appreciable improvisational skills. The original “Soul Illusion” delivers the last traditional-jazz approach as the production finale, “Blue Reflection” provides the last free style number which takes a bit of concentration to appreciate for the first 25 seconds one hears almost no sound leading up to its eventual free form development.

This Way Out is no ordinary jazz album containing an interesting mix of modern jazz that is both sophisticated and challenging. This is music for the discerning jazz aficionado, those who can truly appreciate the difference between standard music and the more intelligent side of jazz, well done Peter Petrucci.

Year: 2011
Label: Self Published
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