241

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.

Jafar Barron's Web Site


Track Listing: Old Happy Buddha; The Buddha Monk Stomp; On the Low Down; onthelowdowninvisiblemanincognegro; Haile's Joint; Jewels and Baby Yaz; Warm and Pretty: Pretty Warm Thing; Life, Libery and the Pursuit of Nappiness; Journey; Transit Dance: Dancing Mass Transit; In the Realm of Permanence: Where the Souls Be At; Old Boy Fey Grey; Untitled; The Free-Bop Movement; Laid Up in the Cut...Jack Boogi.

Personnel: Jafar Barron, trumpet; Rodney Green, drums; Farid Barron, Rhodes electric piano; Michael Boone, bass; Lamont Caldwell, saxophone; Tim Motzer, guitar; Oskar Castro, vocals/spoken word.

Title: The Free-Bop Movement | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Q Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Message From Saturn" CD/LP/Track Review Message From Saturn
by James Nadal
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Runnin' for the Ghost" CD/LP/Track Review Runnin' for the Ghost
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson" CD/LP/Track Review Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 27, 2017
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Hush Point III" CD/LP/Track Review Hush Point III
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 8, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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