Recent Articles

INTERVIEWS

Don Byron: Music Wikipedia

Read "Don Byron: Music Wikipedia"

[ 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 did some performances of music from the Sugar Hill Gang! Byron is a walking music Wikipedia. He's into such a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Ottawa Jazz Festival Day 6: June 26, 2007

Read "Ottawa Jazz Festival Day 6: June 26, 2007"

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 at the 5:00 PM Connoisseur Series, 8:30 PM Concert Under the Stars events, and 10:30 PM Studio series demonstrated that, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Don Byron and Uri Caine in Tel Aviv

Read "Don Byron and Uri Caine in Tel Aviv"

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 concert on two distinctive eras--swing jazz and traditional klezmer music. Only when they reached the encore, where they performed an ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Portland Jazz Festival Day 2: February 17, 2007

Read "Portland Jazz Festival Day 2: February 17, 2007"

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 Diego Ramirez Geri Allen Trio Trygve Seim Don Byron Dave Douglas Quintet ...

INTERVIEWS

Don Byron: Moving Towards the Idiomatic

Read "Don Byron: Moving Towards the Idiomatic"

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 of George Russell. Byron's got impeccable clarinet technique, but his reputation has grown as much out of his ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Don Byron: Doing The Boomerang at Philadelphia's Painted Bride

Read "Don Byron: Doing The Boomerang at Philadelphia's Painted Bride"

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 night. In the first set the band stuck to tunes from the CD, giving the audience what they came to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Don Byron: Do The Boomerang: The Music Of Junior Walker

Read "Do The Boomerang: The Music Of Junior Walker" reviewed by

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 an adventurous Eddie Harris sax excursion, then burning deeply into the red-hot, for damn sure “Satan's Blues. “Shotgun is the ...

FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Detroit through New York to Berlin and Brazil: Music Beats Around the World

Read "Detroit through New York to Berlin and Brazil: Music Beats Around the World"

Detroit, USA

Don Byron Do The Boomerang: The Music Of Junior Walker Blue Note 2006

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 ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Don Byron: Do the Boomerang and A Ballad for Many

Read "Don Byron:  Do the Boomerang and A Ballad for Many"

Don Byron Do the Boomerang Blue Note 2006 Bang on a Can & Don Byron A Ballad for Many Cantaloupe Music 2006

Culture, both niche and mass appeal, clearly intrigue clarinetist/composer Don Byron and for several years he has used his pen and horn to examine it from his own perspective. With his ethnomusicological openness he has celebrated cultural uniqueness and in the process championed racial commonalities. Byron's latest two projects highlight an ability to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Don Byron: Do the Boomerang: The Music of Junior Walker

Read "Do the Boomerang: The Music of Junior Walker" reviewed by

You might be asking “What's next? from clarinetist/saxophonist Don Byron--whose past recordings have included hip-hop, Latin/Afro-Caribbean, klezmer, mainstream and experimental jazz. But unpredictability is what makes him so intriguing; he displays not only chops and ingenuity, but also an inquisitive perception of a broad range of musical genres. With swinging originality, he dedicated his 2004 release Ivey Divey (Blue Note) to the music of saxophonist Lester Young. He now turns his attention to the funky sounds of R&B pioneer “Junior Walker in a set that will make you want to “shake your groove thang. Saxophonist/vocalist Autry “Junior ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Don Byron: Do the Boomerang: The Music of Junior Walker

Read "Do the Boomerang: The Music of Junior Walker" reviewed by

Clarinetist Don Byron is proof that one can be a serious musician and still have fun. A member of Mensa, he's a composer of “serious music like A Ballad for Many (Cantaloupe, 2006). Still, anyone who was at his Montreal Jazz Festival show this past summer knows that, whether he's reinventing Afro-Cuban music on Music for Six Musicians (Nonesuch, 1995) or mixing up Puccini with the Four Tops on Arias and Lieder (Blue Note, 1999), he's also got a down-to-earth sense of humor.

He's also someone who likes a good time, and Do the Boomerang is the closest thing to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bang on a Can / Don Byron: A Ballad for Many

Read "A Ballad for Many" reviewed by

It's no surprise that clarinettist Don Byron bemoans the musical conservatism of the 1980s “young lions jazz movement. New York has always been richly cosmopolitan--musically and otherwise. It's also no surprise that for A Ballad for Many, his first album to focus almost exclusively on composition, he has collaborated with the intrepid new music ensemble Bang on a Can. With its unorthodox instrumentation and repertoire, Bang on a Can has always been an unusual collective, but it's perfect for Byron's multidisciplinary writing.

Byron's six-part suite written for the Ernie Kovacs video “Eugene should also come as no surprise. More than ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Don Byron: Thinking and Rethinking

Read "Don Byron: Thinking and Rethinking"

Few musicians can lay claim to tackling the wild mix of music Don Byron has. No matter how hard critics and audiences try to corner him, the clarinetist and composer succeeds in slipping their grips, in search of new ground to break. And yet as predictably unpredictable as Byron has been, his approach to music remains constant: one of diligence, determination and unquenchable curiosity. “My intent isn't to shake people, he says. “What I'm trying to do is be good at things and figure out how to do them where I've rethought something about the music. From ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Day 11 - Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, July 8, 2006

Read "Day 11 - Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, July 8, 2006"

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12

As the 27th edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival heads for the home stretch, two unique and diverse performances showed why it is one of the largest and most successful jazz festivals in the world. For many years, Montreal's festival has succumbed to the temptation to bring in big names which are at best (if even) peripherally associated with the broader jazz continuum. But it still brings in ...



Weekly Giveaways

Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

About | Enter

Peter Lerner

Peter Lerner

About | Enter

Jamie Saft

Jamie Saft

About | Enter

Sun Trio

Sun Trio

About | Enter

Sponsor: Nonesuch Records

Community Members

Join our growing community of
writers, musicians, visual artists and advocates.

Join Us Today!