For this column I step away from my avoidance of personalization because its roots and intent are, indeed, very, very personal. The germination of this column began as the result of two coinciding events. First, after months of relative inactivity due to a health matter that, while thankfully non-life threatening and treatable, could take several more months to get me back to my usual breakneck speed and has slowed my writing to a crawl, I began to feel ...read more
[ Editor's Note: The following interview is reprinted from George Colligan's blog, Jazztruth ]I got my Bachelor's in Music Ed and Trumpet from Peabody Conservatory. I got my Master's in Jazz from Queens College. But I did my real graduate work playing with clarinetist Don Byron. My first gigs with Byron were playing Stravinsky and Raymond Scott. We also played Duke Ellington, Earth Wind and Fire, Herb Alpert, Klezmer music, the music of Junior Walker, and we even ...read more
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11
At its half-way point, the 2007 TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival's sixth day presented a series of concerts that demonstrated just how broad repertory jazz can be. While too many artists retread overly played material and bring nothing new to the table, the performances ...read more
Don Byron and Uri Caine Opera House Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, April 27, 2007
The careers of composer and clarinetist Don Byron and frequent collaborator and composer, pianist Uri Caine, are exceptionally versatile. Both are gifted with an encyclopedic knowledge of many genres, past, present and futuristic, and always keen to explore new possibilities. But in their duo concert in Tel Aviv they chose to focus throughout most of the ...read more
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3
Day two of the Portland Jazz Festival (PDX Jazz) was a bit of a rarity, with the sun burning away a thick layer of early morning fog, and temperatures rising to the mid-60s. But the majority of the heat was generated indoors, with a number of outstanding performances, and the continuation of the ECM Jazz Roundtable.
Chapter Index ECM Roundtable: Cover Art Jazz Dialogue: Charles Lloyd ...read more
Don Byron is one the most familiar names in contemporary jazz music and by far the most prominent clarinetist of the last 20 years. Born in the Bronx--and proud of it--Byron was introduced to an eclectic world of music and culture at a very young age by his pianist mother and bass-playing father. His early years saw him studying classical clarinet, playing and doing arrangements in salsa bands, and eventually attending the New England Conservatory of Music under the aegis ...read more
Don Byron Painted Bride Art Center Philadelphia, PA February 3, 2007
Don Byron's release Do The Boomerang: The Music Of Junior Walker became a darling of the critics and made the best-of lists for 2006. The disc, a danceable, funk and R&B-filled party record, was Byron's homage to one of his favorite musicians, Junior Walker.
Byron and his band once again did right by Walker at the Painted Bride on this Saturday ...read more
Through previous recordings in honor of Sly Stone, Igor Stravinsky, Henry Mancini and other influences on his highly individualized muse, Don Byron has demonstrated a great feeling for tributes. His sixth Blue Note release honors Autry DeWalt, who blew as Junior Walker a string of saxophone/organ hurricanes that contributed mightily to the rock-soul wing of Motown Records at the label's peak.
Byron mostly matches Walker's tenor saxophone, exploring in Mark Anthony Speaks the outer reaches of soul-jazz like ...read more