192

Barrett Deems: Deemus

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Barrett Deems: Deemus Drummer Barrett Deems was a man with a pedigree, who took in stints with violinist Joe Venuti from 1937 to 1944, and a four-year run with trumpeter Louis Armstrong in the 1950s. The first years of the following decade found him keeping the musical company of trombonist Jack Teagarden. All of these affiliations are clues to the musical fare on Deemus, the drummer's first album under his own name—recorded in 1978 but not released by Delmark until 1997. It's great to have the recording released again, as it documents the seemingly dying art of small group swing performance.

The whole vocabulary of pre-bop jazz is on offer, spoken with just the right combination of fire and grace to make the music worthwhile. Deems was able to generate heat, even while his work remains unobtrusive. His drive on "Shine" ensures that the music is lustrous, even at a bright tempo, and it's a real treat to hear clarinetist Chuck Hedges, whose playing shows no overt influence, apart from {Benny Goodman}} in his phrasing and Edmond Hall in his instinctive ability to turn up the temperature.

Benny Goodman and Charlie Christian's "Seven Come Eleven" is both rhythmically buoyant and supple, the uplift provided in part by John DeFauw's rhythm guitar in an encapsulation of another dying art. As a guitar soloist, Bob Roberts demonstrates the influence of George Barnes, but that very reference only exemplifies the degree to which he knows his stuff.

By the same token, pianist Steve Behr shows a measure of Teddy Wilson in his work on the opening "'Deed I Do." But as with most of the influences here, it's unimportant when the music catches that element of the human spirit which takes care of convivial music making. If anything, Behr is less urbane than Wilson, and sounds particularly inspired by keeping the leader's musical company. Vibraphonist Don DeMichael evokes the spirits too, but such is the nature of his phrasing that his closest musical allegiance, at times, could be to clarinetist Pee Wee Russell.

Given that this was such a wonderful little group, the piano/bass/drums trios of "I Love Paris" and "Get Happy" are a little sad. The three men perform with such brio, though, that the exhortation of the latter title requires no effort at all.


Track Listing: Deed I Do; New Orleans; Shine; After You've Gone; Seven Come Eleven; Six Appeal; I Love Paris; Get Happy.

Personnel: Chuck Hedges: clarinet; Steve Behr: piano; Bob Roberts: lead guitar; John Defauw: rhythm guitar; Wilson McKindra: bass; Barrett Deems: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Delmark Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Jungle: Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Jungle: Live At Okuden
by John Sharpe
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Recondita Armonia" CD/LP/Track Review Recondita Armonia
by Phillip Woolever
Published: March 12, 2016
Read "Lowdown Hoedown" CD/LP/Track Review Lowdown Hoedown
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "The Promise Of Happiness" CD/LP/Track Review The Promise Of Happiness
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Sanctuary" CD/LP/Track Review Sanctuary
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 22, 2016
Read "Right to Love" CD/LP/Track Review Right to Love
by Jim Olin
Published: June 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!