158

Darren Barrett: First One Up

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
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”) and Thelonious himself (“Reflections”). Barrett sounds much like several of his more recent predecessors (Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, Marcus Printup, Terence Blanchard, Wallace Roney and others) with the obligatory nods toward Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan and other old–line boppers. One of the drawbacks is that Barrett’s compositions, while earnest in their intent, haven’t much meat on their bones and thus serve mainly as routine springboards for improvisation. Another is that pianist Goldberg could use a more delicate touch to great advantage (and is that him or his piano making those strange noises while he solos?). Barrett’s front–line partners, Greene (on eight tracks) and Garrett (on three), are quite capable but stylistically inseparable from many of their contemporaries. Make no mistake, Barrett shows great promise and gives an exceedingly good account of himself throughout, and First One Up may one day be seen in retrospect as the wellspring of an uncommonly productive career. For now, however, we must observe that “promising” is about as suitable a word as discretion will allow. The more acclamatory phrases may come later.

Track listing: First One Up (take 1); Word! Dr. Byrd; Impossible; 2 to 4; Grand Ravine; Up Down–Inside Outside; Conceta Elfreda; A New Day Comes; Reflections; First One Up (take 2); Dee’s Theme (65:24).

Personnel:

Darren Barrett, trumpet; Aaron Goldberg, piano; Jimmy Greene, tenor, soprano sax; Kenny Garrett, alto sax (1, 6, 10); Reuben Rogers, bass; John Lamkin, drums.

Contact: J Curve Records, P.O. Box 867, Cincinnati, OH 45201

| Record Label: J Curve Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Roy Hargrove Roy Hargrove
trumpet
Wynton Marsalis Wynton Marsalis
trumpet
Kenny Garrett Kenny Garrett
sax, alto
Lee Konitz Lee Konitz
sax, alto
Chris Potter Chris Potter
reeds
Dave Douglas Dave Douglas
trumpet
Seamus Blake Seamus Blake
sax, tenor
Greg Tardy Greg Tardy
sax, tenor
Russell Gunn Russell Gunn
trumpet
Ingrid Jensen Ingrid Jensen
trumpet

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "My Head is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head is Listening
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Ten" CD/LP/Track Review Ten
by Jeff Winbush
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Persuasion" CD/LP/Track Review Persuasion
by Jeff Winbush
Published: December 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!