Barry Finnerty
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Barry Finnerty

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


From JAZZTIMES, July-August 1995
Written by: Greg Robinson

Most musicians get excited when a new record of theirs is released. Some, like guitarist Barry Finnerty, see it as a second chance. After spending the last decade in club date purgatory, the former sideman of the Brecker Brothers, Miles Davis, and the Crusaders is back with a new album, Straight Ahead (Arabesque). "I'm really happy with it," he says of the album, a no-frills blowing session to which he brought seven original tunes. "It's the first record like this I've done. It's the kind of record I really came to New York to do, when I first came to New York. I get to write my own liner notes, you know? Some people get sidetracked trying to do what they think is commercial, or to show how wonderfully versatile they are. I kind of fell into that pit myself."

Finnerty's name was etched into the annals of jazz in 1973, when he joined the Chico Hamilton Quintet. A year on the West Coast with Airto and Flora Purim was followed by several years of studio work in New York. He worked with a sideman with Joe Farrell and Hubert Laws, and recorded with them for Creed Taylor's CTI label. He rediscovered the fuzzbox and contributed in distorted tones to the Brecker Brothers' 1977 opus de funk, Heavy Metal Bebop. A high-profile gig with the Crusaders was enough to get him noticed by Miles Davis, who used him on his 1981 comeback, The Man With The Horn.

In addition to Finnerty's guitar playing (he has called it "a cross between Jeff Beck and George Benson"), Straight Ahead boasts the latest grooves of master drummer Victor Lewis. Pianist David Kikoski, another veteran New York jazz player, is also impressive. "With Arabesque, it's like having a chance to do records like one of those labels in the '50s, like Prestige," Finnerty observes. "They didn't make big-budget records, but they got a lot of stuff out there that was quality playing, and over the years that stuff adds up."

- Jazz Times Magazine


Discography

(As Leader)
TRAZZ! (TRANCE JAZZ) (2004)
SPACE AGE BLUES (1998)
BARGAIN HUNTERS (1997)
STRAIGHT AHEAD (1996)
2B NAMED LATER (1989)
LIGHTS ON BROADWAY (1985)
NEW YORK CITY (1980)
(As Sideman)
MILES DAVIS:MAN WITH THE HORN (1981)
CRUSADERS: STREET LIFE (1980)
STANDING TALL(1981)
ONGAKU-ZA LIVE IN JAPAN (1982)
ROYAL JAM W/BB KING (1983)
also: JOE SAMPLE-RAINBOW SEEKER (1978)
BRECKER BROTHERS: HEAVY METAL BEBOP (1977)
STRAP HANGIN' (1980)
HUBERT LAWS: ROMEO AND JULIET (1976)
SAY IT WITH SILENCE (1978)
Do a Google search "Barry Finnerty Discography" and you will see a lot more!

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Barry Finnerty is known worldwide as one of the best overall modern jazz guitarists, having performed and recorded with such well-known artists as Miles Davis
(The Man With The Horn, '81), the Crusaders (Street Life, '80), and the Brecker Bros. (Heavy Metal Bebop, '78). He has also released 7 albums as a solo artist.

His always tasty, melodic and soulful guitar playing has been described as a cross between the styles of George Benson and Jeff Beck.

After a 25-year career in New York he returned in 1998 to his home turf, the San Francisco Bay Area, where he continues to lead his own bands and teaches both privately and at the Jazz School in Berkeley. He performed with his own group and also appeared with BB King, Dr. John and Les McCann at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in July 2004. He is also the author of a new book, "Melodic Materials For The Modern Jazz Soloist", which was premiered at the International Association for Jazz Education convention in January 2005.

Please visit www.barryfinnerty.com for full bio, lots of pictures, music, and more!