Daniel Barry -- Phantom Suite / The Music of Daniel Barry by Jack BowersMore articles about Jazz Police
Daniel Barry -- Phantom Suite / The Music of Daniel Barry
On the earlier Phantom Suite, Barry even invades the world of the classics (Puccini’s poignant “Un Bel Di” from Madama Butterfly ) and pop music (The Platters’ “Only You”), using as his paramount weapon the voice of soprano Tamara Wimer who’s admirable on the former, overly breathless and theatrical on the latter. Wimer is also heard (with tenor saxophonist Dean Mochizuki) on Barry’s ballad, “From Another World.” Barry leads with his strength, the charming seven–minutes–plus “Phantom Suite” whose infectious Latin rhythms bespeak the influence of Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, Chico O’Farrill, Machito and other masters of the genre. Soprano saxophonist Greg Metcalf, trombonist Steve Kirk and percussionist Ernesto Pediangco are the soloists on the suite, Barry (flugel) and tenor Mochizuki on Barry’s colorful arrangement of Frank Foster’s “Simone,” which follows. Metcalf and vibraphonist Susan Pascal share center stage on another Latin charmer, “Baby Weezer.” “Un Bel Di” is next, followed by three more of Barry’s compositions, the swaying “Easy Palm Drive” (Mike West, tenor; Nonda Trimis, drums), groovy “Will Power” (Mochizuki, tenor; Daniel Haeck, trombone) and lyrical “Peasant’s Lullabye” (Barry, trumpet; Doug Zanger, guitar). After Wimer’s unexciting vocals on “Only You” and “Another World,” the band wraps things up with the laid–back but no less rhythmically emphatic “Savanna” (West, tenor; Larry Barilleau, timbales).
“To and Fro,” which raises the curtain on the candidly named second disc, reminds one of something Chick Corea might have written (“Spain,” “La Fiesta” — along those lines) albeit a tad less ambitious and stormy than either of those Andalusian benchmarks. Unlike Phantom Suite, every piece on this album is Barry’s, and taken as a whole they’re quite handsomely dressed. Most of them disclose Barry’s fondness for vibrant Latin–leaning rhythms; only the two features for tenor sax, “Ancestors” (Jim West) and “Miss. Leisure” (Jim Cutler) are more Jazz– than Latin–influenced. “Two to Tango” is clearly that, as, apparently, is “The Hiding Place.” I’d single out the others for you if I were able to apprehend the difference between a samba, a bossa and a cha–cha. Whatever they are, they’re admirably scored by Barry and ably performed by the Jazz Police. “Sleep Baby Sleep,” a gentle lullaby, is followed by the dynamic “Black Bean Boss” (solos by alto Metcalf and pianist Neto), a soaring ”Phoenix” (Barry, trumpet; Metcalf, flute) and picturesque “In the Beginning . . .” (actually the ending) whose delightful theme is accentuated by bass clarinetist Jim DeJoie, percussionist Nonda Trimis and drummer Chris Monroe. Two exceptional albums by yet another well–endowed composer / arranger and big band from Seattle.
Contact: Daniel Barry Publications, 4125 38th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98126; phone 206–938–3320; e–mail email@example.com
Track Listing: Phantom Suite
Personnel: Phantom Suite
Style: Big Band
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