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Don Byron making a trio record


ghost of miles
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:tup Out the corner of my eye, I've noted complaints about Blue Notes recent direction (though I haven't paid a heck of a lot of attention, really).

News like this makes that easy to ignore. Osby, Byron, Moran... exciting and creative stuff in my opinion. I'm waiting for a Moran big band some day.

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I'm not so hot on Byron either, but occasionally (in the right context) he's great. But I heard him live a couple years ago, and he didn't do anything for me.

Still, with Moran on for the date, I'm sure I'll at least be checking out any audio-clips I can find on-line, and I'm sure I'll probably take the plunge. Anything Moran is on is bound to be interesting.

Edited by Rooster_Ties
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  • 2 months later...

Googling around for some reason today, I came across this post Jason Moran on Jazzcorner Speakeasy (in the Classifieds, because he was selling some Eames chairs!!!):

May-23-2004

I'm up in Woodstock, and have just finished playing a trio concert with Don Byron and Jack DeJohnette. It was the first time performing with Jack, and it was truly a remarkable experience. The swells were immense. Tomorrow we start recording it. Look out for this project, under Don Byron's name, and will be on Blue Note. Oh yeah, chairs are still for sale. Own modern design history.

jason moran

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I'm not so hot on Byron either, but occasionally (in the right context) he's great. But I heard him live a couple years ago, and he didn't do anything for me.

Same here. For a Lester Young tribute, Byron messes around too much, and his tone is not as sweet.

Why do they record after only one day of playing together? I will have a listen first before buying.

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I'm not so hot on Byron either, but occasionally (in the right context) he's great.  But I heard him live a couple years ago, and he didn't do anything for me.

Same here. For a Lester Young tribute, Byron messes around too much, and his tone is not as sweet.

Why do they record after only one day of playing together? I will have a listen first before buying.

"De gustibus non est disputandum..." I guess. I'm a big fan, and I think "sweet" applies to some favorite tracks: Estrellita (first 6 musicians CD), Allure of Entanglement (No Vibe Zone), Basquiat (Romance w/ the Unseen). Oh well.

Don and Jason played a weeklong stand together at the Vanguard last winter (with Billy Hart and Lonnie Plaxico, doing a lot of the material on this new release), and Don and Jack have played together in numerous contexts -- I'm looking forward to this.

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Several respected posters seem to be less than enamored with Mr. Byron. I am curious why? Is it his clarinet playing specifically, or perhaps the projects he has recorded? Maybe you don't like how much hype he received initially from the jazz press? Just curious. I have been a fan since first hearing him in Ralph Peterson's Fo'Tet. Although I recognize that he may not technically be the best clarinetist around, I do enjoy his playing and I have been satisfied with just about all of his recordings. My favorites are probably the first Music for Six Musicians disc and the quartet wtih Frisell, Gress and DeJohnette.

Edited by relyles
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I'm interested: clarinet, piano, drums. An hommage to Pee Wee Russell perhaps?

I think don byron isn't really interested as much in doing tribute records any more. I think he's into creating new music with other like-minded forward thinking musicians.

On the aspect of Moran appearing as a guest on someone else's record, which today seems to be few and far between, is going to be "out," emotional, yet meaningful. I used to think very little of Byron (like I did about Dolphy originally too) but after listening to more of his stuff such as bug music and music for six musicians and especially "more music for six musicians," I really started to dig him a lot more not only because of his obvious intellect and devotion to social justice, but because the music is really emotionally evocative. He definately has the bop thing down cold, but he's not interested in rehashing that stuff. If he has a major label such as Blue Note backing him, he might as well contribute something original.

Another reason I dig him is that he's able to play the clarinet in such a modern vain without compromising to the instrument's technical restrictions (from my experience as a sax player going over to clarinet and getting down the basic technique stuff but unable to be as evocative/swinging/expressive as I can consistently be on the saxophones). Let me just insert that his articulation in the altissimo is something to marvel at.

I think that he is a very different musician from the rest of the crowd at Blue Note these days, save Lovano and Moran and a few others who don't come to mind right now. But the great thing is that Bruce Lundvall and Tom Evered and the powers that be, know Don Byron is a phenomenal musician and they keep him on the payroll because they are now a financially viable label with acts like MMW, Norah, and Van Morrison to buttress more "artistes" like Moran and Byron. Hopefully he will continue to be a creative new music kind of guy who can play straight-ahead like a mother-f@$&er, but chooses personal expression over licks because that's the way the spirit moves him (it also gets boring after a while to play licks). It becomes an inviting challenge to create your own language for your instrument. This is what we jazzers call "having your own sound."

I think it's important to realize that guys like Byron, and Mark Turner, and Chris Cheek, and Adam Kolker, and to a great extent Chris Potter, etc. could all play very straight-ahead lick and hardbop tradition-oriented music, but they feel its more important to innovate and try to challenge themselves by communicating in new musical ways. If that involves screaming in the upper register to get out what you are feeling in the moment, so be it. Look at James Carter....I think Byron and Carter on a date together would be a recipe for a beautifully emotional display

That's all I have to say about that....

mm

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I think Byron and Carter on a date together would be a recipe for a beautifully emotional display

They did perform together, on the soundtrack to Altman's Kansas City. James Zollar, the trumpeter on You Are #6, is also on there, if I remember rightly.

Tuskegee Experiments was a good CD.

Yes it was.....seems like ages ago.

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  • 1 month later...

The Byron trio (with Moran and Billy Hart) played the Austrian Saalfelden Jazzfestival this weekend. Heard a couple of tracks on radio, and I quite like it. Pity though that Moran did get quite less solo space than Byron.

Not too warm either on Byron, in general (the only disc I have and never really got so far, is "You are #6"), but I quite liked his playing in this setting. Lose and swinging, Hart did some Krupa tricks (if I heard that right), and the music has a sort of retro-vibe, yet Byron and Moran's harmonic awareness make it more than just a nostalgic affair.

ubu

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I'm not sure how exactly I feel about these so-called "concept" albums that have been coming out on the Bluenote label of late. I really dig Lovano's Dameron-inspired album and his latest Ballads disc is a treat also (see Joe's review if you want to read a more eloquent description of I'M ALL FOR YOU).

This new one from Byron looks appealing to me because of the Prez connection, but only really for that reason. Admittedly, I'm unfamiliar with all three members of the group; even DeJohnette, as I've only really listened to his stuff from the sixties and seventies. Could be a good mix, however.

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