|Allan C. Barnes|
September 27, 1949 |
Detroit, Michigan, United States
|Genres||Jazz, rhythm and blues, funk|
|Associated acts||The Blackbyrds|
Barnes was born in Detroit, Michigan, on September 21, 1949. He received his first musical training from his musician uncles, Joe and Robert Barnes. In 1967, Barnes enlisted in the United States Army and trained at the Army Element of the U.S. Naval School of Music. After a year in the 437th, he was deployed to Vietnam and the 4th Division Army Band.
After being discharged, Barnes played his way back to Detroit. He was discovered by the legendary Donald Byrd who insisted that Barnes come to Howard University and play with a new band he was putting together, The Blackbyrds. Barnes traveled the world with Donald Byrd and The Blackbyrds. The band's first album went gold with Barnes writing two of the songs: “Summer Love” and “The Blackbirds Theme”. The band's second album, Flying Start, contained the hit single “Walking in Rhythm”, with Barnes being featured on the flute.
Barnes went on to front his own band, Allan Barnes and Primetime. He has played and recorded with numerous artists, including Gil Scott-Heron, Lyman Woodard David II, Fred Wesley, Nina Simone, Lee Oscar, Pini Cohen, Bennie Maupin, Siggy Dillard, Delbert Taylor, Robert Guillaume, Wilson Pickett, Christian DiMaggio, Lakeside, Ceri Lucas, Prince, the Mizell Brothers, Marcus Belgrave, Harold McKinney, Bootsie Collins, the Detroit Experiment, Regina Carter, Geri Allen, the Dramatics, the Interzone Orchestra, Reggie Braxton, Sandy Patton, Dwight Adams, Sunny Wilkinson, Sunny Girl, Martha Reeves, Mary Wilson, Teddy Harris, Roy Brooks, Big John Patton, Milt Hinton, Grant Green, Pharaoh Sanders, Sonny Rollins and Billy Taylor.
During his career Barnes wrote music with John Malone and had a single, “Disco Dancin'”, on the first Taste of Honey album and with R. Kelly co-wrote the single “Money Makes the World Go Round”. He has written music for commercials with Larry King, Brenda Sykes, Sugar Ray Leonard, Leslie Nielsen, and Muhammad Ali. He penned the music for the PBS movie One Night’s Run and the PBS series Small Business Magazine. In addition he wrote station identification theme for the University of Michigan public television station. Barnes created and hosted the PBS show Jazzland. He also had a cameo in the Clint Eastwood film Bird.
Barnes recently wrote “Until We Meet Again”, a classic jazz piece. He has recently been seen in the feature role in the PBS special American Jazz Greats: Evolution of the Jazz Saxophone. Barnes leads the band Giant Steps, which consists of six band leaders: Cliff Monear, Marion Hayden, Rayse Biggs, Sunny Wilkinson,and Gayelynn McKinney. His sound has been described as "calling out to the audience and inviting them in with his masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and his significant contributions to the preservation of the history of jazz".
Barnes has more recently been employed by several modern Detroit artists in the Detroit hip-hop scene including Finale, Big Tone, and Stryfe, all of which he has performed for in the studio. Barnes has been a frequent collaborator of the Detroit hip-hop/funk fusion band Gorilla Funk Mob since 2007. Barnes is featured on Rebirth of Detroit (2012), along with a wide array of Detroit hip-hop artists, all performing over beats from legendary producer J Dilla.
|Do It Fluid/Summer Love||"Summer Love"||Fantasy||1974|
|Flying Start||"Blackbyrds' Theme/April Showers"||Fantasy||1974|
|The Blackbyrds||"Summer Love"||BGP Records||1974|
|A Taste of Honey||"Disco Dancin'"||Capitol Records||1978|
|Boogie Oogie Oogie/Disco Dancin'||"Disco Dancin'"||Capitol Records||1978|
|Night Grooves||"Gut Level/Walkin' in Rhythm"||Fantasy Records||1978|
|It's Cold Out Here||Jungle Records||1989|
|Jazz Dance Classics, Vol. 2||"The Runaway"||Luv N' Haight||1993|
|Hip City||"Moonstruck"||Luv N' Haight||1994|
|The Blackbyrds/Flying Start||BGP Records||1994|
|Beauty in the Boogie||"Disco Dancin'"||EMI Records||1997|
|Fresh Outta "P" University||WEA||1997|
|As Time Goes By||Virgin Records America||1999|
|Programmed||"People Make the World Go Round"||Talkin' Loud||1999|
|The Detroit Experiment||"Think Twice, Revelation"||Ropeadope Records||2002|
|Movement - Detroit's Electronic Music Festival 04||Transmat||2004|
|Funky Grooves||"Disco Dancin'"||Disky||2006|
|Happy Music: The Best of the Blackbyrds||"Blackbyrd's Theme"||Fantasy||2007|
|Lovebyrds: Soft and Easy||"April Showers, Summer Lovin'"||Fantasy||2007|
|A Pipe Dream and a Promise (CD)||"A Pipe Dream and a Promise"||Interdependent Media||2009|
|Time Has Come/Blackbyrds' Theme (7")||"Blackbyrds' Theme"||BackFire Records||2009|
- Dulzo, Jim. "An Insatiable Musician", The Detroit News, November 16, 1979.
- DeRaimus, Betty. "Jazz- The Beat is on the Upswing." The Detroit News, March 6, 1980.
- PBS Current Magazine, 2001.
- Heron, Kim. "He Fuses Sensitivity and Sound." The Detroit Free Press, October 16, 1981.
- J Dilla - Rebirth of Detroit.
- Discogs.com, Allan Barnes, http://www.discogs.com/artist/Allan+Barnes?sort=format%2Casc