Guy Barker: Into the Blue

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Verve
WORKS: Into the Blue
PERFORMER: Guy Barker (t), Sigi Flosason (as), Bernardo Sassetti (p), Alec Dankworth (b), Ralph Salmins (d)
CATALOGUE NO: 527 656-2

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Imagine an archetypal horn player and you see a hard-living jazzer who blows uncut emotion. A career which started with seven years in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and has included a spell with the LSO, might not have set Guy Barker on an appropriately dissolute path, but it helped define and refine a rare talent. But if Barker is short on demons, he’s long on technique, and his time is coming.

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On this Verve debut the Englishman trips sweetly through a stimulating selection of boppy originals and non-standards in front of a punchy Euro-quintet. Slick and assured in the high register, Barker squeezes quicksilver from the mute and also slurs convincingly through the blues: absolutely top drawer trumpet. Garry Booth