This self-produced release from jazz vocalist Danny Barrett is very nice indeed. From the tasteful arrangements of Bill O'Connell to the fine playing by the various musicians assembled and--of course--Barrett's warm tenor, every aspect of the performance is in order. On Indian Summer
's nine tracks, Barrett & co. take on either eleven or twelve standards--one track is a medley of three different songs, while the set's lone original--a tribute to baseball legend Jackie Robinson--interpolates a stylized reading of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game."
Barrett's rich voice goes easy on the ears. His range goes deep almost to a smoky baritone and extends higher to a light, slightly nasal tenor. The songs chosen for this date, such as Johnny Mandel's "Quietly There" and the Gershwins' "Isn't It A Pity," are well selected for his abilities.
The band band behind him plays tastefully, only taking a share of the spotlight when the moment is right. Pianist O'Connell provides lovely accompaniment throughout, and his light orchestrations on "Quietly There," "Nothing Ever Changes My Love For You," and a few other places including the medley add a lot to the depth of the recording. O'Connell leads a fine rhythm section rounded out by Kenny Davis on bass, Bill Drummond on drums and (on some tracks, most notably "I Cover The Waterfront") guitarist Paul Myers. James Randolph's narration adds extra weight to Barrett's "Baseball Interlude (I Once Knew A Man)," the song about Jackie Robinson.Indian Summer
is a fine, rewarding disc. It sounds really good right now, on a 72 degree day in February--warm even for Long Beach, CA. Even if you are back east and stuck in the snow, this disc would work, though; Barrett's warm sound should help heat up a room, much like a fireplace.