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Nightfall by Dan Baraszu

Atlanta based guitarist Dan Baraszu offers his new CD Nightfall, a self-produced project distributed by the digital label Blue Canoe.

The collection wisely opens with Barazu’s composition "April Fools." The piano, bass and drums introduce the number and then Baraszu’s explosive guitar breaks through and leaves the listener wondering "What hit me?" The Detroit-born guitarist has been playing in various genres for about 25 years including classical, rock and jazz. He likes to call his style "modern bop."

Baraszu cites influences from a wide spectrum including AC-DC, John Scofield, Joe Pass, Horace Silver, Bill Evans, Charlie Parker and Wes Montgomery. His own style is bright, coherent and exudes tremendous energy.

Nightfall encompasses a nice mix of the guitarist’s original material and displays moods from near-ballads to near-free jazz and just a touch of blues. We certainly found it easy to pick a few favorites. "Inconstant Moon" is a gentle condensation of a big band arrangement inspired by Thad Jones. "Into The Blue" is a quick tempo original and Baraszu’s fingering reminded this writer of New York’s brilliant John Stein. Pianist Kenny Banks contributes an imaginative and fulfilling solo and so does bassist Zack Pride.

The title tune deserves its banner position. The quartet works well together with Pride’s thoughtful bass work, Boto’s sensitive drumming and Bank’s gentle piano. The three back the leader’s novel approach on acoustic guitar.

Dan Baraszu delivers a Lenny Breau style vocal on "Summit Drive" penned for the road where he once lived. The late Artie Shaw named a song similarly back in the 1940s. Old-timers will remember "Summit Ridge Drive" as Shaw’s address.

Nightfall is an album that deserves attention. The artist’s website offers sound samples and jazz DJs should have a listen too. It’s good jazz!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dan Baraszu
  • CD Title: Nightfall
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Blue Canoe Records
  • Tracks: April Fools, Ain’t Messin’ Round, Inconstant Moon, Time Machine, Into The Blue, Nightfall, Smudge, Summit Drive, Neutron Star.
  • Musicians: Dan Baraszu (guitar), Kenny Banks (piano), Zack Pride (bass), Kinah Boto (drums).
  • Rating: Four Stars
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