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

The Howard Alden-Dan Barrett Quintet: Live in ’95

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Here’s a combo that typifies everything right about jazz: good writing, clever voicings and an exuberant group sound with excellent solos by everyone in the quintet. So the end result is happy, straightahead, multistyle swing.

The band’s genre-hopping is heard immediately with a John Kirby-flavored intimacy on “9:20 Special.” That’s followed by the Benny Carter tune “When Lights Are Low,” with contrapuntal lines running through the first chorus and Alden chordally interpolating Woody Herman’s famous “Four Brothers” interlude in the release. From there the band switches to Monk for his seldom-heard “Ask Me Now,” a gorgeous ballad with the two-five changes musicians love to improvise on.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.