148

Bill Barner: Ten Tunes

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Bill Barner: Ten Tunes Variety is the theme of Bill Barner's plainly titled Ten Tunes. Although currently employed by a big band and small swing combos, Barner's career as reed man has spanned different genres, from free jazz and Indian raga and to bluegrass and klezmer, and the disc reflects that versatility, with the leader focusing exclusively on clarinet.

Opening with the Chicago-style, blues-rock "Opening Gambit" Stan Smith's blistering guitar work contrasts with the unique and mellow Barner, while the soulful "Wide Stance Dance" is marked by Smith's loosely swinging urban sounds and Barner's acerbic tone. Perhaps Barner's most complex improvisations are on the bop-ish and up-tempo "Squeeky Rico," where his train of thought seamlessly passes on to Smith before a repetition of the theme brings the tune to a close.

Musical traditions from other parts of the world make up a large portion of the record. The classically influenced "Barbaro" is reminiscent of art house European film soundtracks, with its nostalgic dialogue between Barner and Smith, with Roger Hines' melancholic bass work adding another emotional dimension to the piece. Hines also brings an earthy quality to the otherwise ethereal clarinet-led and Brazilian -sounding, "Charm Offensive," while his arco solo on the Middle Eastern-tinged "Connecting Dots" enhances the mysterious mood that the modal improvisations create. Here again, Smith and Barner weave a musical fairytale that could have come right out of The Arabian Nights.

Flamenco flourishes characterize "Palmas," where Smith mixes jazz sensibilities with traditional Spanish sounds and Barner plays an intensely romantic melody over the rhythm section's passionate groove.

Danny Aguiar's rollicking drum work is the understated driving force behind the quartet and his virtuosity shines through on the angular and somewhat fusion-like four-way conversation of "War of the Words," the atmospheric "Flying Monkeys" and the whimsically short "Toddler's Dance."

This enjoyable and always interesting session highlights the versatility of the clarinet—and also the high level musicianship of Barner and his band mates—but also breaks it free from the narrow niche to which the instrument, unfortunately, is often relegated to in modern music.


Track Listing: Opening Gambit; Flying Monkeys; Charm Offensive; Wide Stance Dance; Barbaro; Squeaky Rico; Connecting Dots; Toddler Dance; A War of Words; Palmas.

Personnel: Bill Barner: clarinet; Stan Smith: guitar; Roger Hines: bass; Danny Aguiar: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "A Secret Sigh" CD/LP/Track Review A Secret Sigh
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Reconnect" CD/LP/Track Review Reconnect
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: February 26, 2016
Read "Oblique Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review Oblique Mirrors
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Alive" CD/LP/Track Review Alive
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by James Nadal
Published: January 12, 2017

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!