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 The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "PointCounterPoint" CD/LP/Track Review PointCounterPoint
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Hearts & Minds" CD/LP/Track Review Hearts & Minds
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "No Coming, No Going – The Music of Peter Kuhn 1978-1979" CD/LP/Track Review No Coming, No Going – The Music of Peter Kuhn 1978-1979
by John Sharpe
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "The Core Trio Live, featuring Matthew Shipp" CD/LP/Track Review The Core Trio Live, featuring Matthew Shipp
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations" CD/LP/Track Review Aram Bajakian's Dolphy Formations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 28, 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!