Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Dan Baraszu: Press

JAZZ TIMES - from the April 2006 issue

Berklee grad and Atlanta resident Dan Baraszu is a chopsmeister whose punchy, percussive attack comes out of the George Benson-Pat Martino school of single-note burn. He and his cohorts--pianist Kenny Banks, bassist Zack Pride and drummer Kinah Boto--break out of the gate charging hard on the frantic Latin-flavored opener "April Fools," as Baraszu quickly establishes his take-no-prisoners approach to soloing. His adeptness at chordal melodies and octaves on the relaxed swinger "Inconstant Moon" shows an obvious Wes Montgomery influence, while his crisp, rhythmically assured playing on "Into the Blue" is another tip of the hat to the early-'60s Benson-Martino bag.

Baraszu stakes out his most original territory on the spacious and moody title track, played on nylon string acoustic guitar, on the lively calypso "Smudge" and also on his scorching closer "Neutron Star," which was inspired by Stevie Wonder's "Too High." Aside from ill-advised excursions on guitar synth ("Time Machine") and vocals ("Summit Drive"), Baraszu distinguishes himself as a new guitar talent worth watching on this fine debut.
I really do appreciate recordings that mean business, and Dan Baraszu’s Nightfall is firmly in that column. The nine selections present variety. There is also an overriding feeling that Baraszu and associates present their music with precision and definition....
Baraszu has presented himself as a technically adept guitarist, who also plays with great feeling....
One word describes the selections and the performances on Dan Baraszu’s album: “tight.”
Marshall Zucker - Jazz Improv Magazine, Spring 2007 issue (Mar 1, 2007)
The collection wisely opens with Barazu’s composition “April Fools.” The piano, bass and drums introduce the number and then Baraszu’s explosive guitar breaks through and leaves the listener wondering “What hit me?” The Detroit-born guitarist has been playing in various genres for about 25 years including classical, rock and jazz. He likes to call his style “modern bop.”

Baraszu cites influences from a wide spectrum including AC-DC, John Scofield, Joe Pass, Horace Silver, Bill Evans, Charlie Parker and Wes Montgomery. His own style is bright, coherent and exudes tremendous energy.

Nightfall encompasses a nice mix of the guitarist’s original material and displays moods from near-ballads to near–free jazz and just a touch of blues. We certainly found it easy to pick a few favorites. “Inconstant Moon” is a gentle condensation of a big band arrangement inspired by Thad Jones. “Into The Blue” is a quick tempo original and Baraszu’s fingering reminded this writer of New York’s brilliant John Stein. Pianist Kenny Banks contributes an imaginative and fulfilling solo and so does bassist Zack Pride.

The title tune deserves its banner position. The quartet works well together with Pride’s thoughtful bass work, Boto’s sensitive drumming and Bank’s gentle piano. The three back the leader’s novel approach on acoustic guitar.

Dan Baraszu delivers a Lenny Breau style vocal on “Summit Drive” penned for the road where he once lived. The late Artie Shaw named a song similarly back in the 1940s. Old-timers will remember “Summit Ridge Drive” as Shaw’s address.

Nightfall is an album that deserves attention. The artist’s website offers sound samples and jazz DJs should have a listen too. It’s good jazz!
Great compositions and superb guitar playing are featured throughout this disc. The whole band really comes together as a unified effort and they are burnin' right out of the gate. The CD contains a wonderful variety of styles and tempo which really keeps your interest all the way through. The future of jazz guitar is in good hands with Dan Baraszu.
John Tschirhart - CDBABY (Nov 15, 2005)
Dan streams ahead...
Great to hear a no-frills,but plenty of thrills mainstream guitarist. Baraszu weaves in and out of licks from the masters Montgomery,Pass - but streams ahead with his own fresh brew. Chordal work is sharp and clear while the notes are struck cleanly and evenly - with heaps of tonal variety, color in attack and rich inventiveness in phrasing. Worthy of the title virtuouso.
By introducing the cyclical scalesmanship of South Philly living legend Pat Martino to the round tone of gentle master Wes Montgomery, Atlanta's Baraszu tempers post-fusion bop into something deeply soulful. Take him as a sign that contemporary jazz guitarists are learning how to savor tradition without sacrificing their prog yearnings.
- Dan Baraszu’s Night Fall is an eclectic assortment of jazz, funk and electronica. Innovation and improvisation keep this album fun and exciting, and not two tracks alike. The songs are all unique and convey a variety of emotions. Some are fast and frisky, others are slow and seductive. The titles of the songs are creative and capture the essence of the songs perfectly. There’s “Inconstant Moon,” a slow track you might hear over a candlelight dinner. “Time Machine” has a sci-fi, futuristic sound. No matter how you are feeling, there’s a song on this album to capture your mood.