Barber looks like a librarian, but plays like Geri Allen meets Cecil Taylor (well, the Cecil reference is a bit extreme), with a voice that is somehow both soaring and subdued, on the dry side, very personal. Barber’s band was tight, but somehow I kept feeling like I wanted them to unleash a bit more power/freedom. Something slightly academic in their vibe prevented me from really being floored. Nevertheless, there were some incredible sounds, and their fascinating deconstruction of Norwegian Wood was like no version of that song you’ve ever heard.
Mose Allison looked like he hadn’t changed a bit in 30 years (maybe because he looked 70 even in his 40s). baald described his blues/stride style as “comfortable, like old sneakers” — which is accurate. But you don’t listen to Mose for musical innovation so much as for his whimsical philosophical/political/scientific meanderings. Kind of a Tom Waits/Randy Newman for the previous generation.
Check his Your Molecular Structure (iTMS link).