The playing here represents guitar trio at its best, easy going and swinging-a joy for fans of tasty jazz.
Along with Barrett are Noi Naraoka on bass and Dave Thomas on drums. Leader Barrett is currently teaching and performing in the new Orleans area. He put this CD out on his own. With no frills, just good music, it’s "retro" in the best sense, providing an excellent showcase for the three talented musicians.
Starting with Rogers & Hart’s "Have you meet Miss Jones," the session gets off to a swinging start but really hits its stride, with the bass-guitar "thump, thump" sound which begins "Blues for Boo-Boo(Barrett’s own tune), leading the two into a jaunty harmony. In the next cut, Jobim’s "Wave," Barrett continues to shine adapting his single-note style into the bossa nova beat.
The list of treats continues-Garner’s plaintive "Misty," Clifford Brown’s buoyant "Joy Spring,"which creatively starts with a bossa beat. This is followed by a happy Naraoka bass solo enlivening Kaper’s classic "Green Dolphin Street," Next, tempering the light mood is Raye/Depaul’s paean to the sadness of love lost, "You don’t Know What Love Is." Certainly this is variety enough for an hour’s listening pleasure.
The best, though, has to be Monk’s "Straight No chaser." This starts with Thomas’ drums for several bars, followed with a turn by Naraoka’s bass, culminating in Barrett's creative improvisation. The bass carries the off-center melody to the finish.
Another standout is Desmond’s "Take Five." The group takes this brisk tune and effectively puts a damper on it, quietly offering the best example of the trio’s flawless interplay.