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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Darren Barrett Energy in Motion: The Music of the Bee Gees

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Polyester suits, platform shoes and big hairstyles were in vogue during the 1970's when being cool meant looking the part in spite of the outlandish attire. The music was equally flamboyant and among the many bands, the Australia/ England based Bee Gees, brothers (Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb) produced a string of top hits at the height of the Disco era. Canadian jazz trumpeter Darren Barrett shakes the cobwebs off of a few of the group's oldies--but still goodies--in this tribute release that brings back memories with a renewed jazz flavor. Barrett's approach to this selection is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Darren Barrett: Deelings

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Darren Barrett, winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 1997, is emerging as a leader in the New Bop movement, a jazz form that combines elements of hard bop (there is lots of that here), fusion and modal music. His second album has a musical agenda of mostly original compositions mixed with two standards.

Barrett is a monster trumpet player. But here he is hindered, and sometimes defeated, by most of the material he has chosen to play. Unless one listens very closely, there is very little difference from one track to another and even then the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Darren Barrett: Deelings

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Darren Barrett: Deelings

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This is the second J Curve release by trumpeter Darren Barrett, a relatively young firebrand who won the Thelonious Monk trumpet competition four years ago. As on the previous album ( First One Up ), what Barrett and his companions lay down sounds much like the Blue Note sessions from the ’50s and ’60s that featured such nimble–fingered players as Donald Byrd (who produced this album), Lee Morgan or Freddie Hubbard. Neo–bop? Call it what you will; there’s little doubt, however, that Barrett is carrying on the tradition, as are his sidemen. The difference this time around is that they’ve ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Darren Barrett: Deelings

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We are products of our environment. Darren Barrett chooses his. Strong influences have helped shape the trumpeter's sound, and he seems determined to allow nothing to affect his choices unless it's at the very top of the form. Clifford Brown's legacy appears through two classic ballads. Barrett has refined his tone quality to the point where few can match the purity. The rest of the program consists of the leader's hard-driving originals. Barrett's hard-hitting, energetic approach recalls Freddie Hubbard in his prime. His exploring nature and colorful ensemble moods capture the exploits of Miles Davis, while his soulful emotional warmth ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Darren Barrett: First One Up

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Winner of the 1997 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, trumpeter Darren Barrett picks up where many of today’s young cats start, at the alter of Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, and Kenny Dorham. That ain’t all bad. Barrett, a member of Jackie McLean’s working band, churns from the gitgo on this recording. Produced by Donald Byrd, this session is recorded much like a Criss Cross record, which is to say, a lot like those old Blue Note workouts. Kenny Garrett sits in on three tracks, two of which are alternative takes on an absolute cooker, “First One Up,” which is a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Darren Barrett: First One Up

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This is the debut recording by trumpeter Darren Barrett who in ’97 won the annual international Jazz competition sponsored by the Thelonious Monk Institute. The man clearly has exceptional chops and enthusiasm to match — but he leaves an inescapable impression that what is being said has been recited many times before, often with deeper awareness and broader substance. In other words, purposeful as Barrett and his companions are, there’s nothing notably fresh or absorbing in their repertoire, which consists here of eight original compositions by Barrett (“First One Up” is performed twice) and one each by Steve Allen (“Impossible”) ...



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