16th June 2022

Barry Overstreet – Tenor Sax

Jon Hall – Piano

Neil Sharkey – Double Bass

Mike Sharkey – Drums

Last night Moray Jazz Club had the very real pleasure of hearing Barry Overstreet, tenor saxophonist. It was his first time at the Club, although he has been on the Scottish music scene for some years. Born in Nashville and musically educated in Memphis, Barry has a great enthusiasm for jazz which shows itself in his strong, warm sound and his soulful and fluid improvising. His experience and talent showed in his choice of tempo, generally laid back, and in his ability to combine a very expressive tone with expansive phrasing that made you want to holler, and in fact holler, “yeaaaaaah”!

Barry quickly established a rapport with the rhythm section, who were on excellent form as usual, Neil taking some tasty bass solos and Mike exchanging phrases with the front line with some excellent brush work and solid grooves. Always a pleasure to work with, they came up trumps with Barry’s particular blend of almost gospel-inspired jazz.

His take on “Days of Wine and Roses” as a medium tempo ballad was a masterpiece of emotional sub-text and it justifiably won warm applause from an appreciative audience. Later we played a cool but meaningful version of “Pennies from Heaven” and a righteous “Worksong”. That soulful tone pervaded Horace Silver’s “Song for my Father” and “Canteloupe Island” and transformed tunes we thought we knew.

The highlight of the evening for me was Freddie Hubbard’s “Little Sunflower”, a modal tune with minimal chord changes but in Barry’s hands a very effective vehicle for story telling. I hope we will see and hear much more of
Barry Overstreet in the weeks to come.

Jon Hall

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