Personnel: Scotty Barnhart (trumpet); Jamie Davis (vocals); Leon Anderson, Jr. (whistling, drums); Todd Sebastian Williams (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Clark Terry, Wynton Marsalis (trumpet); Ellis Marsalis, Bill Peterson, Marcus Roberts, Bruce Barth (piano); Rodney Jordan (bass instrument); Leon Anderson, Jr. (drums); Herlin Riley (tambourine, percussion); Etienne Charles, Marion Felder (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Scotty Barnhart ; Greg Errico; Woody Woodruff.
Liner Note Author: Stanley Crouch.
Recording information: Legacy Studios, NY, NY (04/27/2008-12/02/2008); Piety Studios, New Orleans, LA (04/27/2008-12/02/2008); Stephenson Studios, Tallahassee, FL (04/27/2008-12/02/2008).
Author: Bill Cosby.
Editors: Delfeayo Marsalis; Gregg Field; Les Stephenson; Woody Woodruff.
Photographer: Scotty Barnhart .
Arranger: Scotty Barnhart .
Scotty Barnhart has been a well-kept secret, though he has recorded with Marcus Roberts, Rosemary Clooney, and the Count Basie ghost band, while also being involved as a jazz educator at Florida State. This is his first album as a leader, and unlike many youngsters who prematurely rush into studios to make try to make a name for themselves, Barnhart is full of confidence, great musical ideas, and he's also more than willing to share the spotlight. His amusing New Orleans strut setting of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" incorporates both traditional and modern elements, with an occasional whistle added for fun, to spice up some of the intricate interplay. His muted horn is delightful in his infectious gospel tune "Say It Plain." Barnhart utilizes the flumpet (a hybrid of trumpet and flügelhorn, made popular by the late Art Farmer) in his soulful "Haley's Passage," which also showcases guitarist Rick Lollar and soprano saxophonist Todd Williams. "Jnana" is a driving hard bop tune that would have been welcomed by other bands if it had only been available during the 1960s. There are several notable guests as well. Clark Terry adds his trumpet and a hilarious vocal to the likely improvised blues "Pay Me My Money," while "Con Alma" adds Wynton Marsalis and pianist Bruce Barth. Roberts joins his former sideman on piano on several tracks, while Ellis Marsalis is also a welcome guest. Hopefully, Scotty Barnhart won't wait too long for a follow-up recording to his excellent, long-awaited debut CD. ~ Ken Dryden