Getting one release in a week with the clarinet as the featured instrument is rare...two is unheard of.
You have to love what you do and apparently Daniel McBrearty does just that. I started on clarinet but switched to saxophone full time for well...girls, that and the group Chicago was a primary musical influence for what was then my career. McBrearty is a multi instrumentalist as at home with a clarinet as he is a saxophone.
Now we have Clarinet Swing from McBrearty which is a delightful foray into the world of what some refer to as chamber jazz but with a decidedly New Orleans flavor. Leaving Wales, McBrearty began making some headway on the London jazz scene and during a brief stint playing guitar he found himself reunited with the clarinet and exploring a more free approach to improvisation. A fateful trip to New Orleans reignited the instrumental passion in McBrearty and soon he found himself playing the music he loves.
Returning to Belgium where he now resides, McBrearty put together a trio with pianist Dirk Van der Linden ( who has gigged with such luminaries as Clark Terry and Scott Hamilton) and bassist Jean Van Lint. The end result of this trio is of course Clarinet Swing. A delightful mix of standards and three solid original compositions this is a release you could play or perhaps compare next to most any Eddie Daniels record and be favorably impressed. Standards such as "Jitterbug Waltz" and "Skylark" are lyrically impeccable in presentation. An McBrearty original "March Of The Bluestones" sounds like a forgotten standard were it not for a solid working knowledge of the tunes on display here.
There is something to that New Orleans sound. A vibe, a groove, an attitude that comes out in the food as well as the music and Daniel McBrearty is a fine example of what a trip to the Big Easy can do for the musical soul. A stellar recording in every way.
Tracks: Poor Butterfly; March Of The Bluestones; Jitterbug Waltz; Vikanda; A Swing For Paolo; Body And Soul; Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend; When I Grow Too Old To Dream; Skylark.