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LIVE REVIEWS

Bobby Zankel's Warriors with Don Byron at the Painted Bride

Read "Bobby Zankel's Warriors with Don Byron at the Painted Bride" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Bobby Zankel's Warriors of the Wonderful Sound Painted Bride Art Center Philadelphia, PA May 5, 2015 This concert by Bobby Zankel and the Warriors with guest artist Don Byron (who replaced saxophonist Oliver Lake due to the latter's family emergency) was also a celebration of jazz as a rich contributor to the arts. One of the features was the presence on stage of the artist Jeff Schlanger doing one of his inspired sketch-paintings whereby ...

REDISCOVERY

Don Byron: Tuskegee Experiments

Read "Don Byron: Tuskegee Experiments" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

INTERVIEWS

Don Byron: Music Wikipedia

Read "Don Byron: Music Wikipedia" reviewed by George Colligan

[ 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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Don Byron and Uri Caine in Tel Aviv

Read "Don Byron and Uri Caine in Tel Aviv" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

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 ...

INTERVIEWS

Don Byron: Moving Towards the Idiomatic

Read "Don Byron: Moving Towards the Idiomatic" reviewed by Paul Olson

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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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

Read "Don Byron: Doing The Boomerang at Philadelphia's Painted Bride" reviewed by Edward Zucker

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Do The Boomerang: The Music Of Junior Walker" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

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 ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Don Byron: Do the Boomerang and A Ballad for Many

Read "Don Byron:  Do the Boomerang and A Ballad for Many" reviewed by Elliott Simon

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Do the Boomerang: The Music of Junior Walker" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

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

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "A Ballad for Many" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

PROFILES

Don Byron: Thinking and Rethinking

Read "Don Byron: Thinking and Rethinking" reviewed by Riel Lazarus

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 ...