Jeff Barone: Crazy Talk

On Crazy Talk (String Jazz), New York-based Jeff Barone unleashes his aggressive, in your face improvisational approach to mainstream jazz on tunes like “In a Sentimental Mood,” “You Must Believe in Spring” and “Who Can I Turn To?” Lending support are pianist Ron Oswanski, bassist Chris Berger and drummer Joe Strasser, and guitarist Jack Wilkins guests on two tracks. While Barone’s chops and knowledge of the idiom are obvious, his harsh tone is hard to take over the course of the program’s 50 minutes. Excessive presence in the mix doesn’t help, the overall effect of which gives the impression that he’s playing along with an Aebersold recording. With more attention to the sound, he’ll have a much more palatable product the next time out.