Crazy Talk, the first solo album from jazz guitarist Jeff Barone shows a keen sense of rhythm and a love of classic and hard bop jazz. His mosaic concoctions have the intricate needlework of iconic players like Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass, and a consonance that uses a colorist’s palette painting melodic patterns while spinning energetically. With a steady hand, Barone never looses his grips as he produces decks of somersaults and back-flips, and even a few softly phrased dancer poses. Wherever he goes with his chord progressions, he always maintains his balance.
Numbers like "Resa’s Blues" and "In A Sentimental Mood" are ecstatically joyful with jumping chords, agile rhythmic swells, and fierce raptures. He slows the tempo down to sonnata curls in "To Care For," which is one of his original works. He plays "Don’t Worry ‘Bout A Thing" projecting a cocktail hour ambience which turns to a languid pace through "You Must Believe In Spring." Barone’s arias step lightly and rise majestically. The title track has a softcore funk strut and a smooth jazz finish while the lustrous shimmer of his guitar notes through "She’s The One" are elegantly splayed as they ascend and move along the scaling slopes. The tangy beats of "Close Your Eyes" are lively and the long lines of "Renewal" blossom into a gentle reggae swagger. Barone closes the album out with the elegant rhythmic sways of "Who Can I Turn To" with guitar notes that meander energetically while maintaining a statuesque demeanor.
Jeff Barone has played in a number of bands and as a session guitarist before venturing out as a solo artist. His debut record shows a musician with agility in his thought patterns and a strong sense of rhythm that keeps his adventures roped in while rooted in classic jazz and hard-bop idioms. The album displays Barone’s talent and ardor for jazz. His is a musician whose contributions expose the value that the guitar has when placed at center stage of hard-bop compositions.