206

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

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Don Byron: Do The Boomerang: The Music Of Junior Walker 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 absolute rockin' shit, here rivaled for funky intensity only by the number immediately following, a churning and burning James Brown cover ("There It Is ).

But Byron also changes instruments twice, and both times to great effect: interpreting "Do The Boomerang on clarinet, instead of the familiar saxophone, keeps this title track from sounding or feeling like "just another saxophone groove, no matter how torrid, in the set; and his bass clarinet makes the soft ballad "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) sound happy yet sad, somehow almost Chaplin-like.

Though his own playing is plenty good and hot, Byron affords considerable space to David Gilmore (guitar) and George Colligan (Hammond B-3 organ), plus guest guitarist/vocalist Chris Thomas King on two of Walker's most well-known hits, "What Does It Take and "Boomerang. For his part, producer Hans Wendl brilliantly replicates both the immediate, in-your-face sound of Walker's original recordings and the articulate, classic Blue Note jazz sheen, too.

Byron does more than pick the right songs for this tribute, and even more than cast these songs in sympathetic keys and play the correct notes in the proper tempos. He captures the rocking and soulful spirit that fueled this turbo-charged music, which is an exponentially more difficult (and more satisfying) accomplishment.


Track Listing: Cleo's Mood; Ain't That the Truth; Do the Boomerang; Mark Anthony Speaks; Shotgun; There It Is; Satan's Blues; Hewbie Steps Out; Pucker Up, Buttercup; Tally-Ho; What Does It Take (To Win Your Love); (I'm a) Roadrunner.

Personnel: Don Byron: tenor saxophone, clarinet (3), bass clarinet (11); Curtis Fowlkes: trombone (6,11); David Gilmore: guitar; George Colligan: Hammond B-3 organ; Brad Jones: bass; Rodney Holmes: drums, tambourine; Chris Thomas King: vocals (3,6,9,11), guitar (3,11); Dean Bowman: vocals (1,5,6,12).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Okuden
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Purple Patio" CD/LP/Track Review Purple Patio
by John Sharpe
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Stop Time" CD/LP/Track Review Stop Time
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 24, 2016
Read "2468 West Grand Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review 2468 West Grand Boulevard
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Penumbra" CD/LP/Track Review Penumbra
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley" CD/LP/Track Review And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!