Throughout his career, Danny Barrett has always stood for high quality music. A singer with a warm baritone voice, a love and understanding for vintage yet topical lyrics, and a solid sense of swing, Danny Barrett sings music that is difficult to classify but is an extension of such vocal greats as Dick Haymes, Arthur Prysock, Johnny Hartman and David Allyn. His most recent CD release, Live in New York City, This Will Be My Shining Hour, follows It’s About…Time, and Indian Summer and all three can be considered classics of the genre.
Born in Brooklyn and growing up in Queens, Danny remembers hearing the Hit Parade on the radio when he was eight. “I sang in the church choir and had a Doo-Wop group as a teenager. I remember seeing the Stan Kenton Orchestra at Birdland, loving the harmonies of the Four Freshmen, and enjoying Joe Williams with Count Basie. In 1960 I heard Dick Haymes’ record of ‘It Might As Well Be Spring’ and was amazed. I couldn’t get enough of his music and that was a turning point for me.” In addition to Haymes, Prysock, Hartman and Allyn, Danny grew to love the singing of Billy Eckstine, Jimmy Scott, Shirley Horn, Mark Murphy (particularly his album The Dream), Jack Jones and Vic Damone. But although he is quick to name these singers as his inspirations, from the start he sounded like no one but himself.
It took Danny Barrett some time before he pursued singing full time. For the next 20 years, Danny Barrett was a bandleader, playing club dates with a swinging (rather than a society) big band and refining his singing. The work was not exactly what he wanted to do with his life, but it was heading in the right direction. A chance meeting with Yankees batting instructor Charley Lau resulted in a close friendship and another career. Inspired by Lau, Danny volunteered as a batting instructor at a New York college for two years. After working as a batting coach for Stevens Tech, Ramapo College and St. Thomas Aquinas College, he set up a private practice in New Jersey.
In the meantime, he made his recording debut in 1993 with It’s About…Time. The ambitious self-produced project was beautifully recorded and put Danny’s voice in the spotlight while accompanied by a string orchestra. The ballads (which include “Every Time We Say Goodbye,” “Two For The Road” and “We’ll Be Together Again”) are luscious and heartfelt, Danny swings on a couple of medium-tempo numbers, he revives and updates the 1895 hit “The Band Played On,” and sings a duet with his daughter Danette on his son Brad Albetta’s modern ballad “Can’t Let Our Love Hide.”
Although Danny Barrett next recorded This Will Be My Shining Hour, the project was temporarily put aside and stayed unreleased for a long period. In 2003 he met Bill O’Connell through the pianist’s son who was one of his baseball students. The following year, O’Connell provided the arrangements and played piano on Danny’s Indian Summer CD. With fine support from a top-notch rhythm section and guest spots for trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, flutist Dave Valentin, and tenor-saxophonist Jerry Weldon, Danny is heard in prime form on such numbers as Johnny Mandel’s “Quietly There,” “Isn’t It A Pity,” “They Say That Falling In Love Is Wonderful,” a surprising cooking arrangement of “How Am I To Know” as “It Might As Well Be Spring.”
Recently This Will Be My Shining Hour was finally released, and it was worth the wait. On nine songs that mostly date from 1941-55, Barrett brings out the beauty of each tune including a heartbreaking “My Foolish Heart,” “Learning The Blues” and “Secret Love.” He is assisted and inspired by a rhythm section led by pianist Steve Ash, bassist Linc Milliman, and drummer Tim Pleasant along with Joe Magnarelli, tenor-saxophonist Stan Harrison and, on two songs, his son Brad Albetta on electric bass.
Danny Barrett has lived in Southern California for the past two years and has several upcoming recording projects. When he was in New York promoting the release of Indian Summer in 2004, his shows at the Iridium and Danny’s Skylight were recorded; a CD from those performances will be coming out next year. He is also in the process of recording an album with pianist Frank Collette, bassist Jim Hughart and tenor-saxophonist Bob Franceschini’s, all of whom also contributed arrangements.
“My goal is to hopefully complete my work and continue the tradition in giving my listeners the best in music. I am not going to rest until it is finished.“ Currently in a class by himself, Danny Barrett keeps the classic style alive while making it contemporary and fresh through his recordings and his live performances.
For further information about Danny Barrett, please contact Barrett Music Management, Danette Albetta at 718 966-4732 (office) / 917 279-6130 (mobile).