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 testosterone filled jam. You just have to dig the young lions. Barrett, like Marcus Printup show us that there will always be room for faster, hip, note slinging trumpeters. Sure it’s hard keeping track of the Paytons, Hargroves, Roneys, and Kisors of today. But, I’ll argue that like gunslingers, unless we maintain the competition, we’ll end up with a drunken sheriff and more fusion/smooth jazz than you can stomach.
Track List:First On e Up (Take One); Word! Dr. Byrd; Impossible; 2 To 4; Grand Ravine; Up Down – Inside Outside; Conceta Elfreda; A New Day Comes; Reflections; First One Up (Take Two); Dee’s Theme.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.