Truly a local L.A. legend, Patrick Barnitt has been entertaining at the famed nightclub The Dresden for 25 years while also gigging with Wrecking Crew drum great Frank Devito and building his TV and film acting resume with a variety of cool “day job” gigs, many related to “Star Trek.”
We can only speculate why it’s taken him nearly two decades to follow up his 2001 debut When The Time is Right with the spirited and heartfelt, deeply engaging Sway, recorded with the 17 piece Paul McDonald Big Band. Yet one listen to his cooler than cool, emotionally resonant voice, divinely eclectic choice of material (Frank, Dean, Chicago, Engelbert, Les McCann, Curiosity Killed the Cat, The Doors) and interactions with vocalist Laura Pursell (on “Quando Quando Quando” and “The Truth”) and prominent musical guests like Grammy nominated saxman Everette Harp, and you’ll be grateful he did.
He’s a master interpreter, but his lone original, “ACL Blues,” a witty romp about overcoming medical misfortune, is worth the price of admission alone. As you listen a second, third, fourth time to what amounts to the perfect vocal big band program, you’ll also no doubt hope he takes enough time away from his screen career to grace us with much more very soon.