PETER PETRUCCI QUARTET with JAMIE OEHLERS

GIG: CD LAUNCH of This Way Out at Bennetts Lane, June 27, 2010

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Peter Petrucci

Peter Petrucci, guitar
Sam Anning, acoustic bass
David Jones, drums
Jamie Oehlers, saxophone

After being out of town for a week and back at work for one night, I was not sure whether I really wanted to venture into the cold, But I wanted to hear the music from the album live — always a smart move, because it is hard for a studio recording to match the real thing in a good venue.

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Jamie Oehlers

The live rendition was a treat. My impression of the album had been that it was fairly laid back, with a languid feel. In the flesh, the band’s energy and spirited approach to the Miles Davis piece Side Car — played second after the album opener Tomorrow’s Passage — was more apparent.

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Sam Anning

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Jamie Oehlers

The Denzil Best tune Wee had a certain fluidity (had to say that) of tempo and there was plenty of scope for Anning to solo. I loved the quartet’s rendition of Pat Metheny’s 80/81, with strong sax and guitar solos. Petrucci was fulsome in his praise of Oehlers, who he described as “an extraordinary musician” and “a great ballad player” and this was evident in the guitarist’s Soul Illusions, which was a moving way to close the set.

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Peter Petrucci

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
David Jones

Oehlers’ Midnight Mourning opened the second set. As often happens I am writing this too long after the gig, but I know Petrucci said this piece had a really interesting form. This Way Out (Petrucci) was upbeat, with solos from sax, guitar and David Jones on drums, who had not really had a chance to break out before this. And he loves to do that. Point of No Return, from the album Nowhere To Be Found, followed and then the set closed with another Petrucci original — I did not catch the name.

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Peter Petrucci

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Sam Anning

Given the time that has elapsed, I have to leave it up to the pictures to tell the story. But this launch was an absorbing interlude — a good chance to recharge and settle into some great playing. I particularly enjoyed 80/81 and Soul Illusions, and the chance to hear Oehlers in fine, relaxed and flowing form. Beautiful.

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Peter Petrucci and Jamie Oehlers

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