Wade Barnes & The Bottom Line Ensemble at the Moldy Fig Jazz Club
Called, “The Future of Bebop (House of Blues, Review May 5, 2000), Wade Barnes is certainly considered by many to be one of the great drummers, and composers. The Albany Times Union stated about his appearance at the 1997 Saratoga Jazz Festival, “Mr. Barnes has developed into a premier drummer, composer, and educator.”
Receiving a Master of Arts, in Music, Vermont College, Norwich University and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music, Empire State College, S.U.N.Y., and in History, Queens College, after years of study and performing in New York City, as a teenager, has facilitated a holistic conception which incorporates the entire history of American music.
Drummers, who were born in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries such as: Cornelius Tillman; Buddy Gilmore; Paul Barbarin; Baby Dodds; and Chick Webb have been extremely influential. Notwithstanding, Wade Barnes is commonly recognized as extending the tradition of the drums, pioneered by drummers Kenny Clarke, Max Roach, ‘Philly’ Joe Jones, and Roy Haynes. It has been stated, by many, that Mr. Barnes has the “swing of Philly Joe Jones and the technique of Buddy Rich.” Although all the musicians stated above have been profound influences, Wade Barnes has incorporated the ideas of these and others, to fashion his very distinct personal sound.
Mr. Barnes is the director of The Brooklyn Repertory Ensemble (a 17 member ensemble) noted for its unique sound. In addition, he leads smaller ensembles. Two of his other regular working bands are: Wade Barnes and The Bottom Line (a ten member ensemble); and Wade Barnes and Unit Structures. Mr. Barnes, also, performed with: “Doc” Cheatham; Earle Warren; Dicky Wells; Howard McGhee; Cecil Payne; Leonard Gaskin; Joe Knight; Franklin Skeets; Candido; Albert Dailey; Billy Mitchell; Benny Powell; Jimmy Garrison; Bob Crenshaw; Archie Shepp; George Coleman; James Spaulding; Sonny Fortune; Jon Faddis among others.
Mr. Barnes has performed in venues such as: The Smithsonian Institute; The JVC Festival (in New York City and Saratoga Springs, N.Y.); Sweet Basil, Slug’s Saloon, The Village Vanguard, Small’s; Fat Cat; and The Iridium, New York City; Larry’s Hideaway, Toronto; The Rising Sun, Montreal; Snug Harbor, Satchmo Summer Fest and Club Strut, Tiptina’s, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, New Orleans.
His discography includes: Pragmatic Optimism, The Brooklyn Repertory Ensemble (360 Records); Passport To Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Repertory Ensemble (Progressive Records); The Brooklyn Four Plus One, Self-titled, (Progressive Records); The Sounds…They Show Us, The Wade Barnes Septet (360 Records); Bridgin’The Gap, The Brooklyn Conservatory Faculty Jazz Ensemble (360 Records); Deane’s Basics, Deane and The Jazz Masters (Progressive Records); In Your Eyes, Linda Presgrave (Metropolitan Records); Wild As The Wind, Pucci Amanda Jhones (CIMP Records); Fantasy For Orchestra, The Universal Jazz Symphonette (Independent).
The Brooklyn Four Plus One Inc. has been awarded grants to conduct education programs from: The Charles Evans Foundation; The New York City Council and The Department of Cultural Affairs; The Music Performance Fund; The Vermont Arts Council; Vermont College; New England Life; and The Jazz Foundation Of America. The grants were awarded to The Brooklyn Four Plus One Inc. in order to administer music education programs created by Mr. Barnes.