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DANNY BARKER: Save the Bones (REVIEW - Option)

Barker, whose credits include a stint with Cab Calloway and a position as curator of the New

Orleans Jazz Museum, is firmly rooted in past styles, yet never ventures into the archaic. This delicately produced recording showcases the blues-tinged jazz that is so much a part of the New Orleans heritage. Accompanied only by his graceful guitar work, Barker knocks out numbers like "Hard-Hearted Hannah (The Vamp of Savannah)" and "St. James Infirmary" with a street-level charm that's hard to resist. His vocal work is direct and tasteful. Barker doesn't try to clone anyone's past work, but molds the melody into his own identity. Additionally, Barker holds back from putting modern instrumental breaks into the mix. This is a case where the tune simply sells itself as it has for years. Barker, as an artist, is the vehicle which transmits the song to its audience while expanding the limits into his own personal concept.

---Steve Romanoski

 

Originally posted in Option, No. 27 [July/August]

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