Monday, April 16, 2012

Bill Barner, Ten Tunes

Here is something a bit different. Contemporary jazz/jazz-rock with the dominant instrument the clarinet of Bill Barner. Ten Tunes (self-released) is what the title suggests, ten quite serviceable, modern blowing tunes played by a quartet of Barner plus Stan Smith, guitar, Roger Hines, bass, and Danny Aguiar on the drums.

The rhythm section is very decent. Stan Smith sounds fine in a notey bop-rock way. But it's Bill Barner that forms the central fulcrum point. He has a sound somewhere between Buddy DeFranco and Bill Smith and plays in a style that synthesizes the later history of the instrument.

He's both modern sounding yet hearkens back to the post-Goodman players too. In a jazz-rock context that is very unusual and makes for a good listen as a result. This is by no means the perfect clarinet record. Bill Barner plays some nice lines though, so give it a whirl.

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