Ten Tunes reached #10 on the CMJ jazz chart. Reviewers have written:
“This enjoyable and always interesting session highlights the versatility of the clarinet--and also the high level musicianship of Barner and his band mates--but also breaks it free from the narrow niche to which the instrument, unfortunately, is often relegated to in modern music. (AllAboutJazz.com)
TEN TUNES has an unusual clarinet-guitar front line working in light jazz-rock territory with leader Bill Barner playing serpentine clarinet. The music covers funk, reggae, and Mediterranean and Arabic sounds all propelled by Danny Aguiar's drumming. Barner really excels on the dreamy lines of the ballad “Barbaro” as he intertwines with Stan Smith's melting guitar and “Connecting Dots” is a crisp jazz-rock raga with delay effects that evolves into a musical spinning dervish with Roger Hines' bowed bass prominent.
~Jerome Wilson, Cadence Magazine
For his new album Ten Tunes, Barner decided to largely ignore genres and infuse the foreign flavors of the Middle East, Spain, and Brazil, liberally adding rock rhythms alongside swinging ones. He’s ably assisted by longtime cohorts Stan Smith (guitar) and Roger Hines (acoustic bass), as well as Brazilian drummer Danny Aguiar. Barner himself sticks entirely with his original instrument, the clarinet, and is an economical, affective and melody-minded player on this disc, allowing his crack guitarist Smith to soar on his solos, and Hines does as well (who shines on tunes like “Charm Offensive” and “Barbaro”). But what I enjoy most about Ten Tunes is Barner’s willingness to take his clarinet to music other clarinet players might not dare go. Songs like “Flying Monkeys,” “Charm Offensive,” “and “Squeaky Rico” are such a seamless assimilation of styles, it’s often hard to spot the influences. The music, all composed by Barner, is fresh and contemporary without anyone but Smith plugging in, a testament to Barner being so in tune with so many styles of music that he doesn’t need to take any shortcuts. (SomethingElseReviews.com)
More intricate pieces, such as "A War of Words" and "Flying Monkeys" have enough harmonic substance to challenge the musicians, yet remain faithful to the discs overall emphasis on groove. (thejazzword.blogspot.com
Cheery and relaxing, clarinet player Bill Barner traverses through a myriad of melodic patterns including soul, funk, blues, bebop, fusion, and free style jazz on his new CD, Ten Tunes. Fusing European and American elements, Barner's combos are melodically-bound ribbed in tendrils of improvisation. He endeavors to show that the clarinet is a versatile instrument able to enrich melodic textures and adapt to a wide scope of genres.
~Susan Frances, Yahoo!
Ten Tunes is a loose and playful recording. The band hints at a multitude of styles; they touch on rock, country and funk, as well as Middle Eastern and Latin music, all within a jazz context. Despite the group's eclectic influences, Ten Tunes works well as a cohesive whole. This can be attributed to two reasons. First, the group assembled here—leader Bill Barner on clarinet, Stan Smith on guitar, Roger Hines on bass and Danny Aguiar on drums—establish in the pocket grooves on each track, so that each song has an easy rhythmic appeal. Secondly, though the context of the songs may change, Bill Barner always writes around simple, singable melodies.
~Eric Prinzing, Jazzreview