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 A Dark and Stormy Day CD/LP/Track Review A Dark and Stormy Day
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Pocono Git-Down CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Rímur CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Schönbrunn CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Sinking Houseboat Confusion" CD/LP/Track Review Sinking Houseboat Confusion
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 14, 2016
Read "Reciprocity" CD/LP/Track Review Reciprocity
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Ever Up & Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Ever Up & Onward
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 24, 2016
Read "Marianne" CD/LP/Track Review Marianne
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Choice" CD/LP/Track Review Choice
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Shapes" CD/LP/Track Review Shapes
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 24, 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!