Title - 'Trumpet Vibes'
Artist - Darren Barrett
Trumpeter Darren Barrett has just released his seventh album, and by God it's one of his best yet! Entitled Trumpet Vibes, the man who wears his Jamaican ancestry proudly - whether it be on his musical sleeve or within the colors of the actual CD cover art - delves deeply into the native sounds of his parents’ homeland for the first time on the eight-track musical wonderment.
Released on the dB Studios label, Trumpet Vibes the award-winning Canadian musician, composer and producer may well have just discovered where his true musical inspirations lay. With the eight tracks combining hard bop jazz, laid back reggae rhythms, along with some highly frenetic ska grooves, Barrett's heritage is brought up close and very personal here - and rightfully so.
All that said, and as much as Barrett notably honors his family’s lineage throughout this brand new album, he actually opens Trumpet Vibes with his very own, and very personal salute to one of his early mentors, Donald Byrd, with a stunning version of Byrd’s 'Fly Little Bird.' Featuring his noted vibist, Warren Wolf, it is, simply put, one of the true highlights of this delightful album.
And the tip of the hat doesn't end there either, for the latter half of the album features other salutes, from 'To Sir With Love,' to 'Everything I Own' on through to a daring reggae'd up treatment of Stevie Wonder’s infamous 'My Cherie Amour.' With additional musicianship provided by the dynamic rhythm section composed of brothers Alexander and Anthony Toth on upright bass and drums respectively, throughout Trumpet Vibes Barrett's technical proficiency and heartfelt interpretive trumpet work, is just exquisite to behold.
Barrett has gone on record, in various promotional aspects for Trumpet Vibes, saying that "This album means so much to me personally, because it mixes the music from my Jamaican heritage, which is part of my heart, and jazz, which is part of my soul, into one." Knowing that, and listening to the outcome and you most certainly feel the vibe he was intending to aim for; and know he succeeded admirably on all fronts.
Barrett spent the past two years bringing the best of these two musical worlds together, to - once and for all - share a common ancestral genesis from the depths of Africa. He obviously immersed himself in its creation, in its sequencing – writing, producing, playing and recording – and for that, we, as the listener, have to stand up to heartily applaud. For Trumpet Vibes is one of the best albums of 2015, and should be on everyone's Christmas Wish List this holiday season.
Darren Barrett @ Twitter