Tinkr - Blended (2018)

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Tinkr - Blended

Industry veteran is probably the simplest description for Eluriel ‘Tinkr’ Barfield, the bassist who produced his latest album, Blended, under the name Tinkr. He amassed a reputation as one of those go to studio musicians. You know from looking at a CV that includes names such as Luther Vandross, Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, The B-52’s and Jaheim – just to name a few – that this guy can play. Add to that some of the musicians that Tinkr has worked with over the years, and you realize that industry veteran brings history as well as virtuosity to his work.

On Blended, Tinkr’s sidemen include collaborators such as Grammy nominated guitarist William ‘Doc’ Powell, Alfa Anderson, one of the voices that gave the band Chic its unique sound, and pianist Nat Adderley, Jr. the son of trumpeter Nat Adderley, Sr. and nephew of saxophonist Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley.

Tinkr - Blended

Industry veteran is probably the simplest description for Eluriel ‘Tinkr’ Barfield, the bassist who produced his latest album, Blended, under the name Tinkr. He amassed a reputation as one of those go to studio musicians. You know from looking at a CV that includes names such as Luther Vandross, Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, The B-52’s and Jaheim – just to name a few – that this guy can play. Add to that some of the musicians that Tinkr has worked with over the years, and you realize that industry veteran brings history as well as virtuosity to his work.

On Blended, Tinkr’s sidemen include collaborators such as Grammy nominated guitarist William ‘Doc’ Powell, Alfa Anderson, one of the voices that gave the band Chic its unique sound, and pianist Nat Adderley, Jr. the son of trumpeter Nat Adderley, Sr. and nephew of saxophonist Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley.

This blend results in a record that takes its spirit from the jazz fusion of the 1970s and includes a mixture of funkatized versions of classic jazz and R&B tunes as well as Tinkr originals. Tinkr manages to put his unique spin on classic tracks such as “Inner City Blues” – which he titles “City Blues (Holla)” for Blended. With Adderley playing the keys, the track sports a fusion on gospel styled organ and a jazzy swing. Clayton Bryant’s gritty baritone gives this cover an extra dash of church. Meanwhile, Adderley and Powell, two veteran jazz improvisers bring an extra bit of creativity to the track.

Jacob Webb grabs the acoustic bass on the original “Don’t Fear (The Reaper),” a haunting song where funky work on the upright plays off synthesized keyboards, giving the track a balance between acoustic and digital. The percussive “Freedom (Free To Be Me)” finds Tinkr on the electric and celebrating the freedom by going on a thumping, plucking and improvising spree; he then slows down the pace on “My Favorite Things,” a slow, bass driving cut where swinging, harmonizing brass joins toward the middle and ends with the kind of thumping and plucking that is an a homage to 1970s era funk infused jazz that is one of the most under-appreciated musical periods.

Blended is a welcome release by a veteran who brings both his knowledge and his verve – as well as a talented group of friends – to an enjoyable party. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 

 
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