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The Attack of Wren

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Album Review

For anyone who listened to Darren Barrett's first two albums, Attack of Wren will come as a surprise, if not a shock. This isn't a bad thing. Barrett cut both First One Up and Deelings in the hard bop/post-bop mode, sometimes resembling the old Blue Note sound. On Attack of Wren, he abruptly switches directions, embracing a contemporary sound with an experimental edge. Citing Donald Byrd as his mentor, Barrett wanted to combine new technology — like an electronic valve instrument with studio techniques — and play most of the instruments himself. The opener, "Wren's Theme #1," gives a sample of what one can expect on the remainder of the album. There's a thick rhythm section with an extra-heavy bass part and horns, in unison and solo, laid overtop. A voice calls out "wren" from time to time, adding one more element to this funky and intriguing mix. The "funky" strain runs through several of these songs ("Come on Let's Go," "The Way I Like to Do It,") reminding one of late-'60s to- early-'70s fusion. The horn work, however, by Barrett, tenor Walter Smith, and alto Joseph Omicil, has a more contemporary edge. The odd voice work, occasionally run through a processor or synthesizer, also emphasizes 2004 as opposed to 1974. While Barrett's old fans will probably be taken aback by this adventurous recording, it would be too bad if they passed it by. Attack of Wren shows how much fun a recording can be when an artist kicks back and cuts loose. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

The Attack of Wren, Darren Barrett
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  • 6,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 20 September 2004

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