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Melody In Swing

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Album Review

Dan Barrett emerged as one of the top young trombonists during the mid-'80s; his ninth date as a leader for Arbors Records finds him leading a quintet through a marvelous collection of swing songs, many of which have been overlooked for a long time or never received widespread attention in the first place. "Melody in Swing" features Barrett's effortless swing and great tone in an easygoing arrangement. He adds a mute for his languid bittersweet solo during the gently swinging "Carelessly," backed by pianist Ray Sherman's rapid runs. "What Is This Thing Called Love?" has a mysterious introduction that adds a touch of campiness, while Barrett's muted horn almost sounds like an old-time crooner on the relaxed arrangement of "There Is No Greater Love," a piece almost always heard at a breakneck tempo by many jazz groups. The capable rhythm section includes guitarist Eddie Erickson, bassist Dave Stone, and drummer Jeff Hamilton ("Canadian" Jeff to Dan & company, to avoid confusion with the Jeff Hamilton who has worked with Ray Brown and also the Clayton Brothers). The delicious "Gravy Waltz," an early-'60s collaboration between the late pianist/singer/comedian Steve Allen and bassist Ray Brown, showcases Erickson on banjo and some fine arco bass by Stone, as well as the leader, in a fun-filled finale to this highly recommended CD.


Born: 14 December 1955 in Pasadena, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A major player in the small-group swing movement of the 1980s and '90s, Dan Barrett's trombone is equally at home in Dixieland and swing settings. He started on trombone in high school and played in California with the South Frisco Jazz Band and the Golden Eagle Jazz Band, two fine trad groups. At the urging of Howard Alden, Barrett moved to New York in 1983 where he worked with the Widespread Depression Orchestra, played at Eddie Condon's club, and in 1985 was with Benny Goodman's Orchestra. Barrett...
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Melody In Swing, Dan Barrett
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