You might expect a breath of fresh air out of the Pacific Northwest, but Latin jazz? The innovative Seattle-based Jazz Police orchestra provides both withcharts composed and arranged by Daniel Barry. Barry has been associated with the band as a writer and trumpet player since 1987. The hallmarks of the Jazz Police and Daniel Barry are creativity and contrast. They are well matched.
Barry has an extensive grounding in Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music and makes effective use of that experience in a series of Latin compositions. The opener, "To and Fro," starts with brass choir but quickly heats up to mambo tempo with a brass-punctuated tenor solo by Andrew Ferren and a fiery appearance by Barry on trumpet. Another Barry solo and Greg Fulton's guitar bring out the contrast between the romance and the formality of the tango In "Two To Tango" while a medium tempo "The Hiding Place" builds with dramatic solos on alto and vibes. "Black Bean Boss,"a high-energy track, features guest pianist Jovino Santos Neto, a veteran of the Hermeto Pascoal and Airto/Flora Purim groups. The Afro-Cuban "Phoenix" uses flutes, clarinet and bass clarinet for color and "In The Beginning" (which closes the set ) is a study in contrasts. Solemnity. Drama. Listen!
In addition to the Latin charts, Barry provides a lullaby, "Sleep, Baby, Sleep," an edgy polyrhythmic swinger, "Ancestors" and a ballad, "Miss.Leisure." "Miss. Leisure" is a simply beautiful tune played with understanding and intensity by Jim Cutler on tenor with just enough activity by the brass section to keep us from becoming too laid-back.
The love, joy and zest for life that this talented arranger mentions in his liner comments are evident throughout this fine release.