Scott Yanow

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Scott Yanow Review


June 2012 Inside Jazz Review magazine

A Student of such classic vocalists as Johnny Hartman, David Allyn, and Dick Haymes, Barrett is right up there with the best. His baritone voice is superb and his articulation is excellent. He sings rarities by the masters of Great American Songbook and truly makes them his own.

This particular album was recorded in 1998 and, according to the liner notes, almost was never released. Apparently, Barrett had some misgivings on it but, thankfully, his bassist/producer son Brad Albetta appealed to his better judgment. What you have is a modern day jazz classic. Barrett is an artist that has been performing off and on for several decades but you still may not have heard of him. hopefully with this latest entry in the jazz sweepstakes, that will no longer be the case.

Simply put, Barrett is the real deal! If you want proof just check out the opening track "Don't Take Your Love From me." This is an early '40's piece by composer Henry Nemo that is a lost gem. Barrett brings this vintage torch song to life, with a delicate vulnerability that is beyond compare. When he sings you believe him! And pianist Ash's accompaniment provides sublime support for Barrett's subtle turns to phrase. Kurt Weill's "Speak Low" is done here as a samba and, again, features a fine performance by pianist Ash as well as smooth but stinging guitar by Dan Petty. Here, Barrrett sings slightly behind the beat giving the words more power and poignancy. On "My Foolish Heart" Barrett begins the first four bars acapella. When the band comes in it is very effective. He proceeds to infuse the lyrics with weight and drama that are illuminated by Harrison's stellar sax work.
"Secret Love" is a joyous and upbeat swing piece fro the early '50's. That bright mood is proffered by Ash's shimmering piano and Magnarelli's perky trumpet.
Barrett ushers a bit of growl in his voice here as well. The title track "This Will Be My Shinning Hour" is an Arlen/Mercer rarity that represents the album well with a spry and uplifting feel. Harrison, again, rises to the occasion, with some strong tenor lines behind Barrett's expressive baritone. Also, the ensemble alters the dynamics well and balances the ebb and flow of the piece most ably. "Street Dreams" is essentially a duet between Barrett and his son Brad Albetta on electric bass. This piece, in particular, spotlights the leader in his natural habitat, with minor accompaniment and room to move and emote. " Learnin' the Blues" is another '50's era tune that has saloon song written all over it. Barrett preaches the blues as the rhythm section lays down a swinging groove, aided by Doug Petty's delightful organ and piano work.

Barrett is a singer's singer and is sincerely at the top of his fame with this album. Hopefully, he will continue to release fresh material for many years to come.

Review by Eric Harabadian
June 2012 Inside Jazz Review magazine

Carl Stewart

Danny, I really enjoyed your CD "This Will Be My Shining Hour." Youare a master singer! I particularly enjoy your treatment of ballads, where the richness of your sound and feel for the lyrics are on grand display. The musicians and arrangements are excellent also. This would be a fine addition to anybody's jazz collection. Kudos!

-- Carl Stewart, Host of the Jazz Caravan, KRTU, FM 91.;

Jimmy Scott

Hi Danny, Thanks for thinking of me in regard to your album. I really enjoyed your work, my wife Jeanie and I listen to it often, it sets quite a romantic mood. I love the songs you've chosen, ones I may have chosen myself to do. I'd like to compliment you on paying attention to many of the great singers of yesteryear, while listening to your CD, Johnny Hartman, Freddy Cole, Arthur Prysock, and especially Billy Eckstine come to mind, and your ability to chose the material you chose to sing and your personal expression of each song.I'm in hope you will be successful with this new album and looking forward to hearing more from you in the future. You have a natural expression for the story the lyrics are telling. Don't give up your dream, for YOU'VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES. Best of luck!

Jimmy Scott

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

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

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

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

Loonis McGlohon

If it is true that the music we hear when we are at a young dating age is the music we always identify with later; then Danny Barrett might be singing "Purple People Eater", "Maybelline" and "Witch Doctor" on this album.

Happily for those of us who will listen to this album, Danny Barrett, as a young fellow was listening to the likes of Dick Haymes, Nat Cole and Frank Sinatra. And instead of the pap, which the fifties and sixties fed our youth, Danny was hearing and enjoying the songs of Cole Porter, Vernon Duke and Henry Mancini.

Hearing this debut album is wonderful deja vu for anyone who remembers the golden era of songs and singers. For those people too young to recall songs like "When Your Lover has Gone" and "For All We Know," this will be a fine introduction to music which will never go out of style.

Danny Barrett is a wonderful signer! Not only is he blessed with a marvelous voice but he also has an innate sense about "the song" and respect for it. A bonus for the listener is being able to understand each word. No mealy-mouthed sloppiness about the way Danny handles lyrics.

There are many gems to listen for in this album:

In Cole Porter's lovely "Every Time We Say Goodbye," Danny sings a lovely phrase: "When you're near; there's such an air..." And listen for the control he uses in the last word of the cut, the word "goodbye."

Henry Mancini's "Two For the Road" is not an easy song to sing. It contains some intervals that might throw a lot of less talented singers. Not Danny Barrett! His intonation is flawless. Again, listen for the superb control on the tag at the end.

It is very obvious that Danny enjoyed recording "Night Song" from the musical "golden boy." It is a lucky song indeed to have landed in such caring hands.

"For All We Know" has always been Dick Haymes' property. That is, until now. Danny's rich baritone does miracles with this lovely song and Mr. Haymes would be pleased, I think, to hear it revived so beautifully.

"We'll Be Together Again," written by singer Frankie Laine and pianist Carl Fischer, gets new life with Angelo DiPippo's string writing and Danny Barrett's vocal. It is seldom that we get to hear a singer with such control. For proof, listen to Danny's last word, "again."

"Taking a Chance on Love" contains several high points: listen to the resonance in the line, "I'm all aglow again," and Danny persuades us that "We'll have a happy ending now" through the emphasis he places on that optimistic phrase.

Not every fine ballad singer can swing! Danny Barrett does, and he proves it on "When Your Lover Has Gone."

On a contemporary ballad, "Can't Let Our Love Hide," Danny's daughter, Danette, and his son, Brad, take over to make this album a kind of family affair. Both Danette and Brad inherited a large portion of Danny's talent, and Dad himself lets us know let's us know that he can sound as contemporary as the rest of them! Listen for the very hip sound he gets on this cut.

"The Band Played On" will surprise you. Don't expect to hear the 1890's version you might have expected from the title. A very interesting arrangement and a melancholy reading of this lyric.

Warm and moving arrangements, created by the very talented Angelo DiPippo, are played by a host of New York's finest players, including Lew Soloff, George Young, Derek Smith, Ronnie Zito, Joe Cocuzzo, John Basile, Jay Berliner, Linc Millman, Jim Hynes, Mel Davis, Dave Tofani, Jim Pugh, Peter Gordon, and the versatile David Finck (who wrote the two contemporary arrangements.)

Thank you, Danny Barrett for this debut album. Now, let's have another one. Quickly!

- Loonis McGlohon

Mike Rapchak

There is a fringe of show business where a handful of performers - waiting for their cue to take center stage - grow impatient. One is Danny Barrett who represents musical integrity and whose literate approach to singing generates approving smiles from composers of quality material... and I say, "It's about Time."

Mike Rapchak,
WGN Radio, Chicago