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Drawing from his formal training as a trumpeter/composer as well as his travel experiences throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America, Seattle-based musician Daniel Barry has produced Walk All Ways, an expressive blend of multicultural influences that permeates fixed genre and categorization. With the help of a first-rate ensemble, Barry cleverly combines authentic Latin-American rhythms with Classical traditions and jazz-influenced improvisation.
Barry's strength as a composer lies in his ability to develop simple motifs into intricately arranged musical stories. "Mighty Urubamba and "Prayer unfold in unpredictable ways, yet maintain textural warmth. His intuitive orchestration skills are exhibited in the dark-toned richness of the title track and "Junebug, making the unconventional teaming of trumpet, woodwinds, violin, cello and accordion seem quite natural.
The sympathetic ensemble explores angular melodies, both composed and improvised, over accessible South American rhythms on pieces like "Nini's Dream and "Somewhere Far Away, recalling the work of 20th-century French composer Darius Milhaud.
Accordionist Steve Rice exhibits a kind of improvisational risk-taking not usually associated with his instrument. His uninhibited, engaging solo on "Fuga Bembe is both lyrical and ethereal. Other bright spots from the session include multi-instrumental woodwinds player James DeJoie, who soars on the Caribbean-influenced "Pharoah's Gathering, and big-toned bassist Chris Symer, who solos with vigor on "Still Life.
Walk All Ways, at once romantic and satirical, is a successful encapsulation of Barry's vision of the modern musical world. The sounds are fresh, imaginative and worthy of repeated listening.
Track Listing: Mighty Urubamba; Prayer; Pastorale Zipole; Nini's Dream; La Folia Lando; Fuga Bembe; Still Life; Walk All Ways; Somewhere Far Away; Junebug; Nandini; Pharoah's Gathering.
Personnel: Daniel Barry: cormet, melodica, misc. percussion; James DeJoie: bass clarinet, clarinet, flute, baritone saxophone; Alicia Allen: violin; Ruth Marshall: cello; Steve Rice accordion; Chris Symer: bass; Scott Ketron: drums, congas; Susan Pascal: vibrphone (9), marimba (12); Ernesto Pedianco: congas (1); Will Dowd: cajon: (5).
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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