Primary Instrument: Clarinet
IBill Barner's Ten Tunes reached number 10 on the jazz radio top 40. Radio accolades include, Very impressed with Bill Barner’s clarinet work~Sandy Taylor, WRIU Kinston, RI., and The Bill Barner album is fun and mood transforming. Barner and his companions also have excellent tone quality and have a good sense of jazz theory~Jenni Gibson, WSUM 91.7 FM Madison, WI. The recording has garnered good reviews such as this from Roots Music Report, Jazz music allows for the exploration of many avenues of creativity. Clarinetist Bill Barner wrote these ten tunes while thinking of music from various continents...
“This enjoyable and always interesting session highlights the versatility of the clarinet—and also the high level musicianship of Barner and his band mates—but also breaks it free from the narrow niche to which the instrument, unfortunately, is often relegated to in modern music. (AllAboutJazz.com)
For his new album Ten Tunes, Barner decided to largely ignore genres and infuse the foreign flavors of the Middle East, Spain, and Brazil, liberally adding rock rhythms alongside swinging ones. He’s ably assisted by longtime cohorts Stan Smith (guitar) and Roger Hines (acoustic bass), as well as Brazilian drummer Danny Aguiar. Barner himself sticks entirely with his original instrument, the clarinet, and is an economical, affective and melody-minded player on this disc, allowing his crack guitarist Smith to soar on his solos, and Hines does as well (who shines on tunes like “Charm Offensive” and “Barbaro”). But what I enjoy most about Ten Tunes is Barner’s willingness to take his clarinet to music other clarinet players might not dare go. Songs like “Flying Monkeys,” “Charm Offensive,” “and “Squeaky Rico” are such a seamless assimilation of styles, it’s often hard to spot the influences. The music, all composed by Barner, is fresh and contemporary without anyone but Smith plugging in, a testament to Barner being so in tune with so many styles of music that he doesn’t need to take any shortcuts. (SomethingElseReviews.com)
Jazz music allows for the exploration of many avenues of creativity. Clarinetist Bill Barner wrote these ten tunes while thinking of music from various continents. Accompanied by Stan Smith (guitar), Roger Hines (bass), and Danny Aguiar (drums), the Virginia-based musician is blessed with a smooth touch that moves effortlessly from one emotional note to the next. Smith’s virtuosic guitar-playing also has some great lines … as lyrical, fluid, and tricky as they need to be. ... Together, the quartet on this album creates buoyant music with a powerful groove with influences from around the world. Listening closely for those twists and turns, one has to appreciate the musical mojo in “Charm Offensive” with its Brazilian beat. Or the unique flair of a peppy “Squeaky Rico.” When you hear the funky “Wide Stance Dance,” you wanna shout let’s boogie! Inspired by clarinet players of Turkey, the Balkans, and the Middle East, “Connecting Dots” uses an enchanting improvisational prelude and interesting scale for its presentation. As in “Barbaro,” bassist Hines is also given the opportunity for some inventive exploration in that piece. ... The album’s closer, “Palmas” evokes the excitement of Spanish flamenco (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)
More intricate pieces, such as A War of Words and Flying Monkeys have enough harmonic substance to challenge the musicians, yet remain faithful to the discs overall emphasis on groove. (thejazzword.blogspot.com