Monday, March 31, 2014

Bruce Barth Daybreak Savant 2014

A Big Apple legend and an inspiration to many bangs out his finest release yet!
 
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
Bruce Barth channels a Monk like rhythmic inspiration to push a set of eclectic standards and imaginative originals to that next harmonic level. The band is first call all the way with Steve Nelson on vibes, Vincente Archer on bass, and Montez Coleman on drums. Oh yeah, Terell Staford drops by to keep things interesting if not swinging. The addition of Terell Stafford as a front line player is somewhat unusual but the colors he brings to the table are not.
 
The rhythm section is rounded out with the finesse of drummer Montez Coleman and critically acclaimed bassist Vicente Archer. There is a relaxed somewhat live in the studio feel to this recording. Granted the lineup is probably as familiar to some listeners as it is Bruce Barth but it is this undeniable chemistry that allows for a true lyrical sense of purpose and harmonious synergy that similar ensembles can only dream of. "Triste" is a tweaked reharm of a Jobim tune that actually works. "Tuesday's Blues" is a Barth original that turns an extended blues into a smoldering groove that his melodic co-conspirators quickly latch on to. While Barth seems to find comfort in minor keys and quirky time signatures, he makes the unusual seem ordinary.
 
Bruce Barth is a New York icon on the improvisational music scene. Daybreak is easily his finest release. A warm inviting swing that is played out by some of the finest working that Big Apple mecca has Bruce Barth breaking out of his somewhat predictable shell and pushing his own vision forward with stellar results. One of the best for 2014!
Tracks: Triste; Tuesday's Blues; Vamonos; Moon Shadows; Daybreak; Brasilia; Then Three; Somehow It's True; In The Still Of The Night; So Tender.
 
Personnel: Bruce Barth: Piano; Steve Nelson: Vibes; Terell Stafford: Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Vicente Archer; Bass; Montex Coleman: Drums.