Dan Barnett

The Right Track

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With male vocalizing currently experiencing one of its down-turn cycles, Australia offers Dan Barnett, who unites singing with his trombone on an album offering standards and originals. With regard to his singing style, Barnett has some of the better attributes found in such singers as Bobby Darin and Bobby Troup, hip, but not so hip as to sound like it's a put-on. Barnett performs in a variety of settings on this session, big band, quintet, quartet, and duo. Among the members of the larger group is American trumpet player and arranger Don Rader, who seems to have made Australia his home showing up on other recent releases by the La Brava label. Barnett also follows in the footsteps of another trombonist, Steve Turre, by picking up the conch shells for a very South Seas-echoing "Good Times Bad Times." But it's on those medium-tempo tunes such as "My Kind of Girl" where Barnett is at his very best, which is very good. He delivers these tunes in a relaxed manner, leaving plenty of space for individual efforts by his playing mates such as the alto of Nicholas B. Hempton, the tenor of Brad Child, guitarist Chuck Morgan, and, not letting a good thing go to waste, the trumpet of Don Rader. Not all the cuts include a vocal. "Five Spot After Dark," a Curtis Fuller favorite, is an instrumental highlighting alternating smooth and staccato trombone techniques. Steve Arie's bass, with a lead role on this track, has a tonality which takes on vocal qualities. The big band chips in with a couple of rousers with "Get on the Right Track Baby" leading the way. This is an uplifting, entertaining album that swings, with a nod or two to the ballad, and is recommended.

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