Polyester suits, platform shoes and big hairstyles were in vogue during the 1970's when being cool meant looking the part in spite of the outlandish attire. The music was equally flamboyant and among the many bands, the Australia/ England based Bee Gees, brothers (Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb) produced a string of top hits at the height of the Disco era. Canadian jazz trumpeter Darren Barrett shakes the cobwebs off of a few of the group's oldiesbut still goodiesin this tribute release that brings back memories with a renewed jazz flavor.
Barrett's approach to this selection is suave and tempered, thankfully eschewing the Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever soundtrack numbers like "Staying Alive" for mid-tempo tunes such as "More Than a Woman" which integrates electronic strings, lithe keyboards and a groovy solo improvisation at the song's end. The music's beckoning to the dance floor is present with an effervescent tropical rhythm in "I Started a Joke" and the honeyed rendition of the classic love song "Too Much Heaven." Barrett's mellifluous horn is front and center and warmly expressive, yet never overstated or watered down.
There are enjoyable momentsthe neo-soulful "How Deep is Your Love" and the Bee Gee's 1983 Country hit "Islands in the Stream" yet a misstep in the slightly campy vocal version of "I Started a Joke" which sounds a bit too radio-friendly. But all is forgiven with the album's closer, a sexy redo of the popular hit "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart." From the bluesy guitar picks and chords, the floating organ undercurrent and the trumpet crooning of song's lyrics, it will make you want to gently squeeze your significant other or drown yourself in a sea of tears. Barrett does the Bee Gees right.
Track Listing: More Than A Woman; I Started A Joke; Too Much Heaven; Islands In A Stream; How Deep Is Your Love; I Started A Joke (Vocal); Words; How Do You Mend A Broken Heart.
Personnel: Darren Barrett: trumpet; Meari Nam: Fender Rhodes; Chad Selph: auxiliary keyboards; Luka Veselinovic: bass; Kyle Miles: bass (6); Jordan Rose: drums; Judith Barrett: percussion.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.