There is considerable excitement in hearing an artist with the ambition and accomplishment of saxophonist and producer, David Tv Barnes as he uncovers the tools and skillset he brings to every project. His track, “Lost Time” is smooth, soulful, ambitious and rich in different colored tones. It puts the spotlight clearly on his art. Being a single, the new recording dares Barnes to achieve his varied goals within a narrower palette and timeframe. It cranks up the expectations, and David Tv Barnes delivers the goods.
Among his many strengths, this exceptional improviser and soloist is very good at steering away from the expected. David Tv Barnes began his career as an 8 year old prodigy in Brooklyn, NY. Before his 18th birthday he was marching in Walt Disney World’s Parade of Lights with The New York City All-City Marching Band, performing for Mayor Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion.
Over and above being praised by legendary trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis, and teaching musicians and vocalists at Columbia University Teachers College Improv Camp, David Tv Barnes has gone onto opening for Gladys Knight, Boyz II Men, Jimmy Cliff, Beres Hammond and many others. His studio work includes being part of the Grammy Award Winning album “44/876” by Sting & Shaggy.
From the first moments of the R&B/Soul infused instrumental, “Lost Time”, Barnes uses a range of tonal colors with exceptional control, and unfolds unusual intervals in creating melodies that sound like fresh saxophone voicings. His saxophone is fully on display on “Lost Time”, as is Barnes’ ability to guide his arrangement through a performance that can sound as passionate as it is smooth and mellow.
“Lost Time” achieves a sublime atmosphere through harmonic playing and through lushly layered brass sections. David Tv Barnes forges a patient approach on this track, which allows himself to often play in his higher but still smooth upper register, sometimes a careful octave above the piano line.
“Lost Time” is the sound of a truly well-developed musician who embraces both the breadth of his creativity and the focus of his intent. Soulful and sensitive, David Tv Barnes is making music that burns with personal intensity, expressing feeling through a modern musical language. Barnes has obviously spent his time learning not just what notes the saxophone can play, but what tones and timbres it can create.
David Tv Barnes has a distinctive way of creating an ambiance of deep pathos without falling into overwrought sentimentality, and this blend of expression is compelling on a song such as “Lost Time”. There are passages which feel deeply rooted in the jazz tradition. Then there are moments that feel charged with modern urban swagger.
What’s more, David Tv Barnes, on “Lost Time”, has chosen put focus on the sense of effortless, soulful, organic sound that tends to compel audiences to listen. This approach also allows the song to burst out of the speakers in a tuneful melody. There is little doubt that the once 8 year-old prodigy from Brooklyn, David Tv Barnes is among the highest echelons of contemporary saxophone players today.