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Dan Singer on Detour Ahead: “Understands each lyric…”

Dan Singer, (NYC), a reviewer for In Tune International had this to say about Barbara and company’s Detour Ahead:


Barbara Ween is some miles ahead of many here in her dozen-song cd debut. “Out Of This World” (Arlen/Mercer) is easily out of this world and most appealing. Right from the start she swingingly delves into it with an amazing surprising appealing scat midway. “That Lucky Old Sun” (Gilespie/ Smith) is uniquely sung as a clear sounding blues. It certainly is time for a revival of this song, especially by a female. “Can’t Help Singing” (Kern/Harburg) is ably assisted by Joe Belmont’s nylon guitar. The combination is quite fitting. This title song is from the 1944 film treat. Barbara has another wonderful soft scat while being supported by ace flugelhorn player Dave Bilodeau. “Detour Ahead” (Frigo/Ellis/Carter) is amazing. With just Beau Sasser’s Hammond B3 organ together they spell out a most electrifying musical delight. They squeeze the life out of it. “Never Never Land” (Comden/ Green/Styne) from Broadway’s 1950 “Peter Pan” is crooned ever so softly. It’s clear Ms. Ween really understands each lyric she sings. Take it from another fine singer, Karrin Allyson, who says “I Love This Album”.

Finely honed, fluid and note perfect…

FAME logo

That’s how Mark S. Tucker describes Barbara’s singing in his review of Detour Ahead for  the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange:

As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, the duet format can be brutal if one isn’t up to snuff for it. It reveals what’s really there and allows for very little in the way of error or insincerity. Barbara Ween’s Detour Ahead contains a couple of duet tracks, one with bass, one with organ; both work very well, but it’s the bass ‘n voice cut that really shows what a marvelous singer Ween is. Dave Wertman provides the groovin’ bedrock, but Ween fills up the rest of the space exceedingly well, voice finely honed, fluid, and note perfect in every respect, a combination of the human heart and the sort of laryngeal instrument the voice can attain to only when carefully trained. The other duet, the churchy title cut with Beau Sasser (who knocks the ball out of the park during his solo in the later Creepin’, though he testifies rather nicely here as well), was designed much more to showcase Ween’s emotional range and does so admirably, so much so that I wish she would’ve cut a couple more in that mode; for Ween, duets hold no terrors. She revels in them.

The rest of the disc is ensemble, and I had to skip over to Never Never Land because that song just gets to me, and then to Stevie Wonder’s Creepin’, for the same reason. Ween acquits herself marvelously, especially in Never Never Land, but I was a bit surprised to find myself even more taken with her do-ups of Horace Silver’s Peace and Love Vibrations. Singers seem to be re-discovering Silver beyond his classic Song for my Father, one of the great jazz-pop compositions, and that’s always a welcome thing. Regardless, it’s Ween’s unbelievable smoothness that’s entrancing everywhere here, even when she’s be-bopping and scatting. There are no sharp edges anywhere, just long beautiful lines of human flute-song larking all over the terrain, and when Bobby Ferrier steps in on guitar (only twice, dammit!…ah, but Freddie Bryant and Joe Belmont nicely take up the slack), she’s adroitly underwritten and amplified.

My favorite tune? Sorry, too tuff to choose just one, though her mello-fied gospel rendition of That Lucky Old Sun put me weak in the knees. I’m a die-hard atheist, but this gig made me feel like walking down the street to the little churchy-church on the corner. On the other hand, Jeff D’Antona’s piano work beside her contains just enough barroom tinkle to it that I opted for the latter instead (I guess I just find my divinities in diff’rent places than most, Jack Daniels more than the Book of Revelations). So, cool, chart me for that one ’cause it really is a knock-out, atypical of the rest of the CD, though with the same ol’ West Coast Cool so pervasive in every corner of Detour Ahead.


Keeping good company…

Barbara and friends are keeping good company these days…


“The Wonderful World of Jazz” with host James Janisse is on KEBN radio.

Oscar Brown Jr. Kicks off the show today followed by…

The Noon ConcertFeaturing:
Joe Williams – Ballad And Blues Master – Live At The Vine Street Bar & Grill
1) You Showed Me The Way
2) Every Day I’ll Fall In Love
3) You Can Depend On Me
4) A Hundred Years From Today/Tomorrow Night
5) Ain’t No Use
6) I’ve Only Myself To Blame
7) When Sunny Gets Blue
8) Who She Do
9) I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But The Blues
10) Dinner For One Please, James
11)You’ve Got Me Crying Again
12)Blues Medley

This Is Hour 2:
1) Miles Davis – “So What” (Kind Of Blue)

2) Barbara Ween – “Detour Ahead” (Detour Ahead)

3) Art Jackson – “Cape Verdean Blues” (Underground Masterpiece)Break
4) Thelonious Monk – “Jackie-ing” (5 By Monk By 5)
5) Richard Sherman Trio W/Bili Redd – “Where Or When” (Sing)
6) Lucky Thompson – “Fly With The Wind” (Lucky Strikes Again)Break
7) Tom Harrell – “Hot Licks On The Sidewalk” (Labyrinth)
8) Jackie Ryan – “Accentuate The Positive” (Listen Here)
9) The Three Sounds – “Black Orchid” (Black Orchid)

Detour Ahead recommended on Best of Brazil


Randy Morse produced and hosted the weekly radio program The Best of Brazil from 1999 through 2010. This labor of love continues via his website and as in his earlier radio broadcasts, occasionally features albums from beyond the borders of Brazil. He recently recommended Barbra Ween’s new CD, Detour Ahead.

Review of Detour Ahead by Chris Spector from Midwest Records


BARBARA WEEN/Detour Ahead: Unabashedly a woman of a certain age that the Boston area has been keeping all to themselves, this jazz singer has the chops and life experience to give these oldies/chestnuts the proper spin they deserve. Surrounding herself with jazzbos skilled in the tradition, Ween makes your ears feeling like they are back in the age of such hot peppers as Anita O’Day and Chris Connor. Far from being a retro pipe dram, Ween knows how to give the real deal with a crystal clear voice that shows depth without warts and speed bumps. Certainly the kind of stuff to play when you want to feel like a grown up, this is a real winner of a vocal date that has it all on the ball.