Insight at Midnight
Praise for Insight at Midnight : "Insight at Midnight is chock full of genuine talent. Tymas' beautiful blend of jazz demonstrates his mastery in a way that begs notice." Sharon Berry-Vivian, WSHA 88.9 Jazz Carousel "Outstanding record. In every respect. Love it! Every track is wonderfully played. Excellent straight ahead jazz." B.H. Hudson, WNCU FM, Durham, NC "Baron Tymas, jazz guitarist, has put together a brilliant new CD, Insight at Midnight. Great songs, fabulous musicians and tight and enhancing mixing and mastering, result in a CD you will want to hear and enjoy. I look forward to sharing it with jazz fans listening to my show." Melva (Melva's Musings on Jazz), WCOM, Carrboro, NC News and Observer, Raleigh, NC By Owen Cordle - Correspondent Baron Tymas' electric guitar tone and melodic intervals bite conspicuously on the first two tunes on 'Insight at Midnight' (tymasmusic) -- and elsewhere, too. With vibist Jon Metzger on these and four others, the ensemble sound recalls vibist Gary Burton's quartet on 'Duster,' one of the first jazz-rock albums, recorded in 1967. This is not to imply that 'Insight at Midnight' is dated or an album of jazz-rock. It's simply a reference to Tymas' distinctive sound, one that serves him well in terms of clarity, melodic decisiveness and emotional spark. In addition to quartet and quintet tracks with Metzger, there are other groups here: a quartet with pianist Ed Paolantonio, acoustic bassist John Brown and drummer Thomas Taylor on a slow and stark 'Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye'; another quartet with Taylor, electric bassist Damon Brown and flutist Kofi Burbridge; and a couple of tracks with saxophonists Brian Miller and Brian Horton (one of which also includes saxophonist Ira Wiggins and trombonist Robert Trowers). You will recognize the players as locals, several affiliated with Elon, UNC, Duke, or NCCU, where Tymas teaches. Tymas composed eight of the tunes on the album, a varied lot that covers the terrain of today's well-rounded jazz musician. Tymas' new album evokes a range of moods, insight Cliff Bellamy : The Herald-Sun Guitarist Baron Tymas, who teaches music and is the assistant director of jazz studies at North Carolina Central University, has followed up his 2006 release 'Blues for the Tribe' with a new collection of 11 compositions, eight of them Tymas originals, titled 'Insight at Midnight.' It's a release that builds on the many promises of that earlier outing. Of the standards on this recording, two are of note. On Tony Williams' 'Warrior,' Thomas Taylor gets a workout on drums (and provides a 'war cry' at the end of the tune). Taylor's drumming, along with the work of NCCU alums Brian Miller on alto sax and Brian Horton on tenor sax (these guys can cook!), give this piece an infectious urgency. On Cole Porter's 'Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye,' Ed Paolantonio's dark, minor introductory chords on piano are a colorful contrast with the warm feel that Tymas' guitar gives to this ballad. Tymas' compositions exhibit a wide range of moods, and always with well-crafted ensemble playing. 'Insight' shifts from a minor, brooding melody to a brighter melodic quality, with Tymas and vibraphonist Jon Metzger getting strong solos. 'The Point' is an infectious quick tempo piece in waltz time. The ensemble also shows it's on-the-mark sense of timing on 'Don't Say It' and 'Midnight on Hawthorne,' two compositions with a strong rhythmic swing supplied in the bass and drums. 'Insignificant Other' is the only time Tymas steps completely out of a small ensemble and solos alone, a pastoral composition with fine results. =============================================== ALBUM NOTES Guitarist Baron Tymas' new jazz release, Insight at Midnight, is an eleven-song joyride of intriguing compositions, great solos and plenty of action. This is an adventure, with a couple of stops for contemplation between buoyant, kinetic dashes. The journey is fueled by bop, blues, Brazilian, West African and European classical inspirations, and the playing is first class. Drummer Thomas Taylor propels the band, with John Brown and Damon Brown splitting bass duties. Jon Metzger's soulful vibes work adds a compelling sophistication, and Ed Paolantonio's piano swings hard. Brian Horton and Brian Miller breathe incendiary saxophone into two tunes while Ira Wiggins and Robert Trowers rock the boat on another. Flutist Kofi Burbridge is striking on "The Maze," one of the record's eight Tymas originals. There is one original solo guitar piece: the heartfelt "Insignificant Other." A Washington, D.C. native, Tymas is an assistant professor of music at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. Previously, he taught at the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. During his career as a musician and educator, he has been privileged to perform with many fine artists, including Dr. Lonnie Smith, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kenny Werner, Herlin Riley, Greg Gisbert, Victor Goines, Ron Westray, Antonio Hart, Ed Thigpen, Rene Marie, Freddie Cole, Grady Tate, Bernadette Peters, Neil Sedaka, Ingrid Jensen, Jim Snidero, Frank Gratkowski, Sheena Easton and the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra. Tymas is an alumnus of Nebulous (jazz quintet, Raleigh, NC), F.R.E.N.S. (r&b/funk/jazz quintet, Richmond, VA), Cross Currents (fusion quartet, Washington, DC) and Black Sheep (reggae band, Washington, DC). In the summers, he teaches at National Guitar Workshop's Connecticut and Virginia campuses. He holds a Master of Music degree from Howard University. Tymas currently works with his own trio, featuring bassist Damon Brown and drummer Thomas Taylor. He also collaborates regularly with bassist John Brown and is a member of the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra. Tymas is a 2007-08 recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Composer Fellowship Award. Blues for the Tribe (tymasmusic, 2006) was his debut CD as a leader.