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All about Dan's Compositions

Dan has been a member of BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) since 1981. Although recognized as a world-class trombonist and arranger for many years, his abilities as a composer have only recently been brought to light. Here is a list of his compositions, with brief anecdotes about their origins.

"The Minor Infraction":
Dan’s first "original" to be recorded (and registered with BMI) is an instrumental, recorded for Concord Records in 1987. It’s a Count Basie-inspired swing number, called The Minor Infraction, and can be found on the Concord CD Strictly Instrumental, recorded by the Dan Barrett Octet.

"Moon Rocket":
Although he has been writing music for various jazz groups since his high school days, Dan’s first composing assignment of any consequence resulted in his Depression-era theme music for the 1984 American Playhouse television production of Rocket to the Moon, a play by Clifford Odets. The production starred an actor just then becoming better known, the great John Malkovich.

Being a Bear:
In 1998, Dan’s songwriting abilities were called to the attention of Toronto’s David Schacker, who was writing both the script and lyrics for a full length animated feature called The Jazz Bears . This humorous and heartwarming cartoon features a band of, well, bears, who perform in the Forest Green. The Jazz Bears captivate the young Copey Bear, who is given his voice by none other than Dan Barrett, in Dan’s first "acting" role. Copey wants to learn to play trumpet just like his Jazz Bear hero, Pops Bear, but Copey has a lot to learn about music and life. Chips (who is Copey’s faithful girlfriend, portrayed by the great vocalist Rebecca Kilgore) and Pops (whose voice is gently growled by Eddie Erickson), and the other Bears help Copey along the way, giving him lessons in family values, honesty and friendship that are woven into Mr. Schacker’s funny and delightful story. The Schacker-Barrett collaboration has so far produced five songs, including: Being a Bear, The Jam Song, Animation, Copey’s Lament, and The Spirit of Swing. Being a Bear: Jazz For the Whole Family is the title of an Arbors Records CD which includes four of these songs and other fun tunes that provide an introduction to jazz to young listeners. To find out more about the Jazz Bears, and David Schacker's Max the Mutt Animation, (including their animation school!) visit the studio's website at:

"Eastwood Lane":
A few years back, Dan composed a tribute to the American composer Eastwood Lane, whose music had a profound effect on the legendary jazz cornetist and composer, Bix Beiderbecke. Dan’s melody, titled simply Eastwood Lane, became a song when lyrics were added by the current master of that craft, Dave Frishberg. Dan is appreciative of Mr. Frishberg’s invaluable contribution, and is honored that Mr. Frishberg chose to record the song on his recent album, Do You Miss New York?, on Arbors Records. The song has also been recorded by guitarist and vocalist John Piazzarelli, and is on his Compact Disc, Knowing You, on Telarc.

The Sleepy Time Gal:
Finally, in 2002, director Christopher Munch asked Dan to compose a song for his motion picture, The Sleepy Time Gal, starring Jacqueline Bisset. This resulted in the song, Sleepy Time, for which Dan wrote both the words and music. Vocalist Rebecca Kilgore, guitarist Eddie Erickson, bassist Dave Stone and Dan himself perform the song on the film’s soundtrack, thereby introducing their new quartet, BED, to a wider audience. The movie, released in March of 2002, has received enthusiastic reviews. Of course, Dan hopes that it will generate more interest in his composing and song-writing abilities. In the meantime, he continues to stay busy in the jazz world, traveling to jazz parties and festivals here and overseas.

Here is a list of compositions by Dan Barrett:
The Minor Infraction (Concord Records, The Dan Barrett Octet; Strictly Instrumental)

On Arbors Records: (800) 299-1930 email:
Blue Chu (Dan Barrett Trio and Quartet; Jubilesta!)
Rachel’s Boogie (Dan Barrett and Al Jenkins; Reunion With Al)
George’s and Dan’s Most Excellent Blues (George Masso and Dan Barrett; Let’s Be Buddies)
Just Ducky (Tom Baker and Dan Barrett; In Australia)
With ‘Em (Dan Barrett’s Extra-Celestials; Moon Song)
Possum Jump (Rick Fay and Friends; Rollin’ On)
Night Owl (Bryan Shaw; Night Owl)
Press Roll (Rick Fay: Sax-O-Poem)
Long Live the King (Brian Ogilvie; For You)

Sleepy Time (words and music) (soundtrack to motion picture, The Sleepy Time Gal; also, included in the new CD by BED, Get Ready For BED!, on the Blue Swing label)
Jeep’s Melody (from At the Jazz Bears’ Jamboree)
Moon Rocket (for the American Playhouse production of Rocket to the Moon)
Harlem Sunset (Nagel-Heyer CD; Harlem 2000)

With David Schacker, lyricist:
These four tunes are included in the Arbors CD by Dan Barrett and Rebecca Kilgore,
Being a Bear…
Being a Bear: Jazz For the Whole Family:
Being a Bear
Copey’s Lament
The Jam Song

"The Spirit of Swing"

With Dave Frishberg, lyricist:
Eastwood Lane