Walkin’ Shoes by The Dan Barnett Big Band, review by Barry O’Sullivan


Album:  Walkin’ Shoes
Artist:   The Dan Barnett Big Band
Release Date: 2017
Label:    Independent

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Dan Barnett began his musical life as a trombonist and son of legendary Sydney bass player Cliff Barnett.He quickly developed a love for singing and is acknowledged as one of Australia’s most accomplished and professional performers.

His powerful voice and swinging trombone form the backbone of the Dan Barnett Big Band and Walkin’ Shoes is his seventh and latest release as a leader.

Featuring the brilliant big band arrangements of the award wining Tasmanian composer Kelly Ottaway, plus others from Jim Oram, Evan Lohning and Andrew Robertson, (who also play on the recording ), the seventeen piece ensemble glides, swings and bounces it’s way through twelve classic compositions from Ellington, Mulligan, Gillespie, Arlen, Gershwin and Mose Allison without blinking and it’s not your walkin’ shoes you’ll be putting on to listen to it but your dancin’ shoes for sure.

Also featured is the French born award-winning vocalist Tricia Evy lending her upbeat and playful style to the tunes ‘Come Rain or Come Shine’ ,with it’s sassy Latin beat, scatting on ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing’ (how could you not include this one!) and sublimely sexy with Barnett on ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me’.

But the musicians are the real stars including Barnett himself on trombone and shells, Peter Locke on piano, Andrew Dickerson on drums, the throaty sound of Nick Bowd on baritone, Sam Rollings on guitar and particularly loving Dave Theak’s sax solo on the late Mose Allison’s composition ‘I Don’t Worry about A Thing.’

This is music from a bygone era re-vamped and modernised for the twenty first century with panache and style. The production by Ross A’hern makes the album flawless.

Dan Barnett – trombone and vocals, Tricia Evy – vocals, Peter Locke – piano, Andrew Dickerson – drums, Nick Bowd – baritone, Sam Rollings – guitar, Dave Theak – sax Production by Ross A’hern

Barry OSullivan is the Producer/Presenter of a national music program A Jazz Hour now approaching its fourteenth year on the national Community Radio Network making it one the longest running jazz music programs on the FM Airwaves. Barry also produces and presents a variety of jazz programs for Sydney digital radio station FINE MUSIC Digital and reviews jazz music recordings for the international webpage, All About Jazz, and Fine Music Magazine. Barry strongly supports Australian jazz and contemporary improvised music from his home base in The Blue Mountains, NSW.