Barry's touring and recording credits read like a who's who of the music business. Having worked with such diverse artists as Tower of Power, Queen Latifah, Eddie Palmieri, KRS One, Branford Marsalis, Paul Simon,Tito Puente,James Taylor, Billy Joel, McCoy Tyner,Illinois Jacquet, Marc Anthony,Ricky Martin,J-Lo and Bono. Barry brings this wide range of influences to his first solo project 'Common Ground'. 'It was about finding a way to combine all my influences into a cohesive sound.' Says Barry. ' For me, Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan were as much of an influence as Miles, Coltrane and Herbie Hancock.' 'I've never subscribed to the idea that you have to be in one camp or the other. In fact, having been trained in Jazz, I feel that gives one more tools to understand and conceptualize other forms of music.' ' When I arrived in NYC in the early 80's most of my playing was Jazz and R&B. I fell into the Latin scene and it opened up a whole world of music that I was unaware of.''Being in NYC exposes you to a pretty diverse palate of music. I'm into that!' 'Lately I've been very interested in music from West Africa, India and the Middle East. These traditions have a spiritual or sacred aspect that I find very appealing.' Music in these cultures is a thing that heals the soul and is a vehicle to spiritual growth. 'I think John Coltrane understood this very deeply. I think E, W &F was trying to give people in this culture a taste of it in a way that was commercially appealing.' 'A spiritual and cultural message with a beat!!' In Common Ground, Barry draws on the rhythms and grooves one usually associates with R&B and Hip Hop. ' I realized that if you can connect with people on the physical level, with a groove, then you can have a bit more room to get sophisticated with melody and harmony.' 'We forget that for most of it's history, Jazz was dance music.' ' The beats that you hear in the street are always a benchmark for what's happening in the times one is living in.' 'It's a reflection of the realities of a society' 'I've tried to tap into that and keep the melodies very much in an R&B style. I do stretch out harmonically on my solos but this CD is not really about my solos. I didn't play long ones on purpose. ' I think there's something for everyone on this CD. Funky grooves, some of the tunes don't always go where you think they will and some amazing musicians gave some awesome performances.' When asked what's in store for the future; ' I just want to make music that I dig, that inspires me and to keep growing.' I'm not into letting the 'market-place' determine what direction I go in.' ' I try to stay open and in tune and let myself be guided.' ' I really believe in the times we're living in, Musicians have to be the healers, the bridge builders and the social critics. I don't want to be a court jester. That belittles the gift and power of music to transform peoples hearts.' We can enjoy finding 'Common Ground!' from an uncommon artist.
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