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Tunnel & Bridge by John Barron and Patrick Prouty

Mellow, swinging, and thoroughly in the pocket, the Barron/Prouty duo makes some relaxed listening. I’m on the stool at the bar with the red velvet curtains, sipping a nice Zinfandel with a knockout brunette (who happens to be my wife, thanks very much). And then, what’s that? "O Canada" leading into the "Star Spangled Banner," with the bass on melody? The very earnestness of their rendition is what makes it kind of comical. Is it a mission statement? Our duo is international? We want Canada to annex the US? Hmmm.!

Let me get back to my wine. Because I love me some nice jazz guitar. Raney, Farlow, Hall, Wes, this is standard listening for me, and Barron’s clearly got the chops. These gentlemen may not be iconoclasts, but they’re talented and melodic and clearly value mood. Barron’s guitar playing comes straight out of the Jim Hall school, and Prouty’s a solid, walking bassist. Both contribute tunes, which are melodic and tight. The gospel flavor of "Warm Waters" is especially tasty (calling Haden and Jones to mind a bit), and the call and response opening of "Kravdraa," which then gives way to a tender exposition, rewards closer attention. In fact, I would go on record saying that the original tunes are all very well put together.

So it’s unfortunate that they had to throw a little novelty in there. Even if you dig it, the nature of novelty is that it doesn’t hold up to repeated listens, and it means that I’ve got to load this one into the computer and leave that one off to keep myself happy. That said, this is a beautiful, intimate recording.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: John Barron and Patrick Prouty
  • CD Title: Tunnel & Bridge
  • Genre: Cool Jazz
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Leedle Records
  • Tracks: Exit Strategy, Kravdraa, The Actor I, Get the Goods, Alberto, Warm Waters, O Canada/The Star Spangled Banner, Eternal, The Actor II
  • Musicians: John Barron (guitar), Patrick Prouty (bass)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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