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5.0 out of 5 stars What Love Is., 16 Oct 2014
By 
J. Mcdonald "Yelochre" (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Love Is (Audio CD)
This album presents trumpeter Guy Barker with strings, but this is no saccharine, over-egged effort.

Special mention should go right away to arranger/conductor Colin Towns for his excellent charts; his arrangements leave plenty of space not just for Barker's soloing but also for the little details provided by the rhythm section which forms the nucleus of the ensemble. He makes effective use of all the orchestral colours available to him with some inspired writing; "Mona Lisa" - for example - is an original take on the well-known ballad but with some interesting changes in tempo and clever interjections from the orchestra; a neat New Orleans interlude is ushered in by Jamie Talbot's clarinet which prompts Barker to reaffirm his ongoing affection for Rex Stuart's trumpet style. There are many other imaginative arrangements on the album and Barker is heard to great effect in lyrical and more straight-ahead modes.
"I Got It Bad" presents Barker's most sumptuous playing with just Geoff Gascoyne`s bass as accompaniment - a brief but beautiful track.

Romantic, lush in places, but certainly not cloying or syrupy in the way projects like this can turn out; this is one of Barker's finest albums definitely worth adding to your jazz collection.
Playing time runs to just over 60 mins. Check out the MP3 page for track samples.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trumpet w/Strings.........Simply Lush!, 22 Sep 2011
This review is from: What Love Is (Audio CD)
Guy Barker is a Legendary "Master" of his craft! A modern day Chet Baker influenced trumpet musician. Absolutely "underappreciated" in the U.S, he ranks in the Top Ten of modern day Jazz horn players. Do yourself a favor and listen to this cd, every track is pure "Magic"! A definite desert island disc, a musician of the highest caliber. A cd you will never tire listening to over and over.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, luxurious, imperious music. Superb throughout., 15 Jun 2014
This review is from: What Love Is (Audio CD)
Ever since Charlie Parker did it in 1947, they have all had a go at recording with strings. Fifty years on it was Guy's turn, and what a superb job he did.

With the London Metropolitan Orchestra using arrangements by Colin Towns, augmented by some classy jazz musicians: Bernardo Sassetti (p), Perico Sambeat (alto), Geoff Gascoyne (b) and drummer Gene Calderazzo the support to Guy's magisterial trumpet playing is perfect. There is one vocal by Sting.

Guy's playing is imperious and the tone perfect throughout.

The selection of music is excellent ranging from Jimmy Rowles' "The Peacocks" , through a couple of Ellington numbers, a Monk tune and some Ornette Coleman to celebrated popular tunes such as "Angel Eyes". Altogether there are twelve sumptuous tracks.

This is an album to enjoy, to marvel at or simply luxuriate in. Outstanding.
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6 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking blew my mind away!, 22 Feb 2000
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This review is from: What Love Is (Audio CD)
When I went to see Guy Barker in concert I had not heard of him before, and with my limited knowledge of jazz I was not sure what to expect.
but as he started to play I was waiting to exhale as he just took my breath away.
After the concert my companion asked me if I was alright and I will say then, as I say now that the experience was indesribable! .
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What Love Is
What Love Is by Guy Barker (Audio CD - 1998)
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