If the name John Gatti seems roughly familiar, there's reason for that: as a sit-in for the cultily famed Good Rats, he had a handle way similar to the band's own 'John Gatto', which is probably why he was never credited on the Rats' live 1979 LP on which Gatti (and Gatto!) appears (and I'm being kind in that, as there's no excuse for not crediting all players). But there's more to the story. If you happen to be in possession of the obscure Truth LP of '75, Gatti likewise resided there, his emergent effort. With Destinations, he takes quite a different path from all those rock and roll, funk, and disco salad days, and if that last mode puts you off a tad, hold no fears, as John's very much a fusion cat, and Destinations is rich with influences of the very best such players.
This set of opuses is a gatherum of songs generated from he and his wife's travels around the globe…in this case, totally written, played, and produced by John alone, who proves to be quite a musical polymath on horns, winds, keys, drums, bass, everything. The compositions freely range the zone of jazz and jazz-fusion arenas, but one is immediately reminded of the days when Hubert, Ronnie, and Freddie (Laws, Laws, and Hubbard) roamed the Earth, not to mention Lonnie Liston Smith, Hubert Eaves and others, enchanting one and all with refreshing, intelligent, grooving jazz tunes that never failed to not only get the dance crowd hipped up but also the brainiacs and their love of progressively slanted fusion or, as in Jet Glider, thoughtfully wistful ballads amid gentle rhythms and pastelinely effervescent atmospheres.
Not only is Gatti's purely physical acumen top-notch but his sense of coinciding timbres explores many possibilities, pretty much comprehensive, and brings to mind the best influences: Robin Lumley, Manfred Mann, Cecil & Margouleff, and their progeny: Group 87, Mezzoforte, Steps Ahead, and so on. Destinations swings, cerebrates, saunters, and sussurates (Beltway Bossa, among several cuts, is slinky while vibrant), a CD as assured as it is fresh and captivating, at home in your back room stereo, in the car, or at the club.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles