Indian Summer

Danny Barrett Indian Summer release

Indian Summer, defined as the arrival of warm weather after the first chilly frost, is a most appropriate metaphor for the music of Danny Barrett. On a jazz scene that has been cold to romantic male vocalist for far too long, Barrett signals a most welcome moment of romance.

Review by Chris Jisi…

Sit back and give your ears to Danny Barrett’s, Indian Summer, and by the disc’s conclusion the first thought likely to enter your mind will be, WHY, can’t all albums be made with this much care and artistry? Barrett’s well-developed concept,musical integrity and sheer enthusiasm pay off in a big way over the CD’s nine evocative tracks. While Barrett possesses a warm, expressive baritone sure to bring to mind Johnny Hartman, Joe Williams and Billy Eckstine, that’s just part of the equation. His generosity toward the the creative skills of his stellar supporting musicians {including pianist Bill O’Connell, drummer Billy Drumond, flautist Dave Valentin, saxophonist Jerry Weldon and bassist Kenny Davis} and his devotion to lyrics that come straight from the American songbook are what make Indian Summer a complete and original aural experience. From the introspective ballad “QUIETLY THERE,” to the spirited, hard swinging “HOW AM I TO KNOW,” to” Baseball Interlude {I ONCE KNEW A MAN} a revealing look into Barrett’s heart and soul via his other passion. INDIAN SUMMER is a thoroughly engaging listen.

Chris Jisi
Bass Player Magazine

Review by David Allyn…

If you are at all musically inclined, you will be able to distinguish the voice of Danny Barrett, from a slew of singers out there. He is definitely an individual with a sound all his own. I found his album “Indian Summer“, to be peaceful and honest, which is rare in the singing world today. You can hear he has been influenced by the greats, while adding his own feeling of the lyric within the melodic line. His arrangements and musical personnel are great. Without a doubt, this album will bring Danny, well deserved recognition, long overdue.

“A Sure Thing” DAVID ALLYN

Review by Russ Musto…

Indian Summer marks the return of the warm romantic vocals of Danny Barrett to the jazz recording scene after a nearly ten year hiatus. In the decade since the release of his critically acclaimed debut disc, Its About Time, the vocalist’s voluminous voice, at times reminiscent of Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hartman, Arthur Prysock and Dick Haymes, has mellowed with maturity, while still maintaining the deliberate delivery and flawless articulation that marked his maiden voyage. On this new release the singer is accompanied by an all-star jazz rhythm section featuring former Tonight Show bassist Kenny Davis, in demand drummer Billy Drummond and the grand pianist Bill O’Connell, whose masterful orchestrations bring out the best of Barrett’s beautiful baritone and the date’s many special guests.

The disc opens with a lush Latin tinged arrangement of Johnny Mandel’s Quietly There, featuring the multihued percussion of Danny Sadownick and bright fluid flute of David Valentin. Barrett’s emotional reading of Morgan Ames poignant lyric, a pleading appeal filled with both optimism and sadness, proves the singer to be one of the most convincing crooners in jazz today.

Nothing’s Ever Going To Change My Love For You, by Jack Segal and Marvin Fisher, receives an affecting unrestrained treatment here — with the guitar of Paul Meyers and horns of trumpeter Joe Magnarelli and tenor saxophonist Jerry Weldon –propelled by Drummond’s funky backbeat and Sadownick’s colorful conga drumming — filling out the sound of O’Connell’s opulent orchestration. Barrett shows himself to be a strong and soulful interpreter of the rhythm and blues ballad, convincingly delivering the persuasive promise of the enduring power of love.

Isn’t It A Pity, by George and Ira Gershwin, is one of the All-American songwriting team’s most moving collaborations. Barrett never falls into the trap of believing the singer is more important than the song that ensnares so many other jazz vocalists. His faithful reading of the great lyricist’s simple but sophisticated words is matched by the trio’s tasteful accompaniment and Magnarelli’s magnificent flugelhorn solo.

Irving Berlin’s classic They Say That Falling In Love Is Wonderful takes on a mellow AfroCuban mood by means of a marvelous new arrangement by Bill O’Connell, who takes a poignant piano solo on the piece that also features Valentin’s magical flute and the latin-flavored guitar of Paul Meyer’s. Like a good lover, Barrett takes his time on this one, gracefully weavin.

Take Me Out To The Ball Game unites Barrett’s passion for baseball (he’s a professional batting coach) with his love of music. He sings the words of the old Jack Norworth/Al Von Tilzer warhorse with a nostalgic sense of longing for simpler times, in conjunction with his written memorial to Jackie Robinson, which is recited most eloquently by the singer’s good friend, the actor/singer James Randolph, as a tribute to one of America’s greatest champions.

Barrett begins Johnny Green and Edward Heyman’s beautiful torch song I Cover The Waterfront with his own recitation, reminiscent of Billy Eckstine, of the rarely heard verse to Jules Styne and Sammy Cahn’s I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry, with its apropos reference to New York’s lady of the harbor, accompanied by Meyers’ acoustic guitar and Davis’s bowed bass, before harmonica master Enrico Granafei joins the singer on the deftly arranged chorus that also features O’Connell’s piano and Brian Murphy vibes.

Billy Drummond opens Jack King’s How Am I To Know? with a New Orleans style second line drum solo before Barrett comes in singing Dorothy Parker’s brilliant lyrics, stretching out on the arrangement that also leaves plenty of room for strong solos by Weldon, Magnarelli and O’Connell and some tasty rhythms from Sadownick, who takes things out in a duet with Drummond.

Blue Gardenia by Lester Lee and Bob Russell is a melancholy masterpiece, made famous by Nat King Cole and Dinah Washington that few singers can capably carry these days. Barrett’s robust baritone and conversational intonation (buoyed by Brian Murphy’s vibes and Davis’s outstanding bass work) are perfectly suited for the lonely longing lyric, as he honestly recounts the sad story the words relate without even a hint of maudlin sentimentality.

Medley, put together with O’Connell that seamlessly melds several dissimilar melodies of into a coherent conglomeration that showcases the range of his voice and talent. The singer swings straight ahead on the opening You’re My Everything, sharing the spotlight with Weldon’s tenor, then segueing into a breezy samba featuring Valentin and Sadownick on It Might As Well Be Spring and concluding with a relaxed reading of Indian Summer, the rarely heard title track that could well become his signature song.

Indian summer, defined as the arrival of warm weather after the first chilly frost, is a most appropriate metaphor for the music of Danny Barrett. On a jazz scene that has been cold to romantic male vocalists for far too long, Barrett signals a most welcome return to the honest and passionate approach that once made this music the people’s choice. His is a voice that touches audiences and a style that brings the songwriter’s words to life. And that could be just what it’s going to take to put the joy of jazz back into the lives of today’s listeners.

– Russ Musto

Review by Jeffery B. Williams…

You hold in your hand an increasingly rare commodity – the product of [you should pardon the expression] musicians! – wonderful songs and thoughtful arrangements, all centered around the special, unique voice of Danny Barrett. You may regard Danny as a throwback, if you will, to the days of Dick Haymes. I can assure you, however, that after you listen to this album for the first time you will be playing it much more than “Once in Awhile.”

Jeffery B. Williams
WNEW Radio – New York