206

Jafar Barron: The Free-Bop Movement

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
Philadelphia trumpeter Jafar Barron offers an impressively cohesive mix of bebop, hip hop and spoken word on his debut album on Q Records. But jazz purists (at least those with open ears) need not fear - this is a jazz album, albeit one that draws on both rap and electronics.

Barron's approach most directly paralells that of Steve Coleman's M-Base Collective and, to a lesser extent Ornette Coleman's "free funk." Barron and his colleagues - including brother Farid, a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, on the electric Fender Rhodes piano - are serious, well-schooled jazz-funk progressives whose music is infused with and informed by the spirit of hip hop.

Barron, who has played with everyone from Wynton Marsalis to Erykah Badu, leads his sextet through a series of groove-heavy compositions that reference some 50-plus years of jazz history. "Old Happy, Happy Buddha" and "The Buddha Monk Stomp" build on pure bebop structures while "Transit Dance: Dancing Mass Transit" and "In the Realm of Permanence: Where the Souls Be At" come closer to free-form funk, propelled by bassist Michael Boone and drummer Rodney Green's ferocious rhythms. The spoken word segments - poetic interludes and introductions on mostly spiritual and social themes performed by Oskar Castro - seldom distract from the music, which always remains in the forefront.

Credit Barron and company for creating an album of challenging yet accessible 21st century jazz. Well worth checking out.



Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "2-Man Jazz Band" CD/LP/Track Review 2-Man Jazz Band
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Live At The Troubadour 1969" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Troubadour 1969
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Find Your Wings" CD/LP/Track Review Find Your Wings
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Avalon" CD/LP/Track Review Avalon
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "Undertaker Please Drive Slow" CD/LP/Track Review Undertaker Please Drive Slow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Dawg Yawp" CD/LP/Track Review Dawg Yawp
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 29, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.