Bill Barron

Variations in Blue

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Bill Barron, who spent much of his life as a music educator, played inventive solos that sounded both spontaneous and well thought-out. Barron, who was underrated throughout his career, cut three records for Muse during 1978-1987, of which this set was the second. Barron; his brother, pianist Kenny Barron; trumpeter Jimmy Owens; bassist Ray Drummond; and drummer Ben Riley perform five of the leader's complex originals (including "Swingin' in Bushness Park," which finds the tenorman switching to soprano) and Gigi Gryce's "Minority."