To play with two masters of their craft certainly says a lot. It is not surprising, however, that Darren Barrett is now a member of the Elvin Jones Jazz Explosion, where he helps extend the perimeter of the band, and also has his time playing for Jackie McLean. That they should consider him worthy enough to be with them speaks volumes for his credentials.
Barrett's has grown as a player since the time of his debut album. His technique is more compact, his playing more adventurous. He goes out further, leaping into terrain that is new with well-defined confidence.
Barrett defines several moods and comes off best on the ballads. He illumines "There Will Never Be Another You" with deep sensitivity and gives the song his own special glow. His intuitive changes add impact to "I'm Glad There Is You" and veer it out of the ordinary.
As a composer, Barrett has some interesting ideas. He weaves middle eastern themes into "Middle East" undulating the melody sinuously before Aaron Goldberg scintillates with his stretch of the theme. The bebop cannon explodes in the charge of a "Creative Locomotion" where all the players go full steam ahead and the interplay between them is not only tight but also contagious. And if the mating of technique and creativity needs it's own ceremony, Barrett deals it with plenty of savoir-faire as he stokes a "C Minor Joint". With the maturity he shows, Barrett should be around for a long, long time
Personnel: Darren Barrett: Trumpet; Jimmy Greene: Tenor Saxophone; Aaron Goldberg: Piano; Reuben Rogers: Bass; John Lamkin: Drums