Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Dan Baraszu: Nightfall

Berklee grad and Atlanta resident Dan Baraszu is a chopsmeister whose punchy, percussive attack comes out of the George Benson-Pat Martino school of single-note burn. He and his cohorts–pianist Kenny Banks, bassist Zack Pride and drummer Kinah Boto–break out of the gate charging hard on the frantic Latin-flavored opener “April Fools,” as Baraszu quickly establishes his take-no-prisoners approach to soloing. His adeptness at chordal melodies and octaves on the relaxed swinger “Inconstant Moon” shows an obvious Wes Montgomery influence, while his crisp, rhythmically assured playing on “Into the Blue” is another tip of the hat to the early-’60s Benson-Martino bag.

Baraszu stakes out his most original territory on the spacious and moody title track, played on nylon string acoustic guitar, on the lively calypso “Smudge” and also on his scorching closer “Neutron Star,” which was inspired by Stevie Wonder’s “Too High.” Aside from ill-advised excursions on guitar synth (“Time Machine”) and vocals (“Summit Drive”), Baraszu distinguishes himself as a new guitar talent worth watching on this fine debut.

Originally Published