Robert "Bootsie" Barnes

You Leave Me Breathless!

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Although highly regarded in Philadelphia jazz circles for decades, Robert "Bootsie" Barnes was virtually unknown outside of that city when the big-toned tenor saxman recorded You Leave Me Breathless! in 1995. With its emphasis on ballads and medium tempos, this excellent date was a bit of a departure from Barnes' Philly club gigs, which often favored fast tempos and hard-swinging aggression. Joined by pianist Brian Trainor, bassist Tyrone Brown and drummer Craig McIver, Barnes demonstrates how soulful and convincing a ballad player he can be on "Day Dream," "A Nightingale Sang In Berkley Square" and other standards. Only on Gigi Gryce's "Minority" does the veteran hard bopper really speed things up and give listeners a taste of his more aggressive side. This CD's excellence came as no surprise to Philly jazz supporters, who hoped Barnes would start to enjoy some long-overdue national attention.

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