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Don Byron

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For well over a decade, Don Byron has been a singular voice in an astounding range of musical contexts, exploring widely divergent traditions while continually striving for what he calls "a sound above genre." As clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, arranger, and social critic, he redefines every genre of music he plays, be it classical, salsa, hip-hop, funk, rhythm & blues, klezmer, or any jazz style from swing and bop to cutting-edge downtown improvisation. He has been consistently voted best clarinetist by critics and readers alike in leading international music journals since being named "Jazz Artist of the Year" by Down Beat in 1992

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Instrumental Duos

Read "Instrumental Duos" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The early days of jazz were not always harmonious. Converted dance orchestras often sounded like unbalanced acoustic junkyards; a single violin, cornet, trombone, clarinet, tuba, drums, banjo, and piano, all fighting for attention. The piano was meant to be the glue holding the shrill and boisterous elements together. In 1921 a prodigy pianist named Zez Confrey ...

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Article: Hardly Strictly Jazz

2020 and Me

Read "2020 and Me" reviewed by Skip Heller


As I type this, it is December 8, 2020, the fortieth anniversary of John Lennon's murder. I was then a newly-minted barband guitarist, fifteen years old and thinking how the world —via the election of Ronald Reagan —and music had just suffered the worst season that could ever be. 2020 has been an ongoing ...

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Article: Year in Review

John Pietaro's "Test" Of 2020

Read "John Pietaro's "Test" Of 2020" reviewed by John Pietaro


It would be a fool's errand in a covid-damaged society to attempt a peaceably gathered year's end “Best of" list, in jazz or any other genre or medium. But artists of jazz and all avant gardes have been especially susceptible to the considerable financial ebbing and health concerns of this period. Discussing this concept with my ...

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News: Book / Magazine

Stratusphunk: The Life and Works of George Russell By Dr. Duncan Heining Available through Amazon Worldwide

Stratusphunk: The Life and Works of George Russell By Dr. Duncan Heining Available through Amazon Worldwide

Stratusphunk is the story of remarkable musician and a remarkable man. Through his ideas and music, composer, theorist and musician George Russell joins the dots in modern jazz from bebop, though modal and free jazz and into jazz rock. It is hard to imagine another artist, who was both so influential but also so misunderstood. For ...

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Article: Meet the Staff

Meet Marc Cohn

Read "Meet Marc Cohn" reviewed by Marc Cohn


Meet Marc A. Cohn Dr. Cohn is a New Yorker-in-exile and has been doing jazz radio as an avocation since 1967. He is Professor Emeritus in Seed Biology at Louisiana State University, where he has won numerous teaching awards. He is a widely recognized authority on seed dormancy, is Editor Emeritus of Seed Science Research (the ...

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Mark Wade

Read "Take Five with Mark Wade" reviewed by Mark Wade


Meet Mark Wade Voted one of the top bassists of 2016, 2018, and 2019 in the prestigious Downbeat Magazine Reader's Poll, Mark Wade has been active in the NYC area for over 20 years. His debut album Event Horizon (2015) and follow up release Moving Day (2018) received international acclaim, and Moving Day was picked as ...

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Article: Album Review

Rudy Royston: PaNOptic

Read "PaNOptic" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Like many jazz musicians in 2020, drummer/composer Rudy Royston has felt the direct effects of living in the coronavirus world. The Texas native, now a New Jersey resident, found his streams of income drying up without gigs, but then experienced a fortunate twist of fate that stood him up. Head above water, the artist pays it ...

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Article: Interview

Tom Lawton: Not Less Than Everything

Read "Tom Lawton: Not Less Than Everything" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always-- A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) --T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets; “Little Gidding" This poetic quotation ...

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Article: Radio

John Zorn and The Downtown Scene (1983 - 1995)

Read "John Zorn and The Downtown Scene (1983 - 1995)" reviewed by Russell Perry


Never far from the pulse of jazz innovation, New York in the 1980s incubated what has become known as the “downtown scene." Radically multi-stylistic, the resulting music was unabashedly eclectic, celebrating influences from bebop to punk rock to cartoon music and eventually klezmer and Balkan music “From the shrill, colorful legacy of noise music and new ...


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