George Harris, Jazz Weekly

Darren Barrett takes popular jazz songs and reinvents them, mixing his warm and Kenny Dorham-toned trumpet with his keyboards, hip hoppy voice, EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) and teams with sound designer Wren as well as teammates Takeru Saito/p, Youngchae Jeong/b, Daniel Moreno/dr, Santiago Bosch/key, Judith Barrett/perc and guest guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel.

The contrast, or juxtaposition, of exotic percussion and electronic wizardry with Barrett’s acoustic horn makes for interesting intersections. Airport like sounds team with slithering percussion for a unique read of the bop classic “Nica’s Dream” and voices with effects meld with electronica on “The Touch of Your Lips.” Hip hop voices and tapes create an elliptical “Every Time We Say Goodbye” and more noodles than a Chinese restaurant show up to team with Barrett’s soft horn on “Invitation” while Rosenwinkel gives a rich intro to the exotically percussed take of “Con Alma” that has the leader sighing through his valve. Creative, at times a bit disjointed, but definitely ambitious in a bipolar way.

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