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Album Review

Although she is listed as co-leader for this CD, singer Donna Byrne is only on seven of the 12 selections. She sounds fine, although her cabaret-type ballad treatment of "I Have Dreamed" is a bit outside of jazz. While Byrne is at her best on "Lullaby In Rhythm" and "Ill Wind," the release is most noteworthy for the playing of Herb Pomeroy. The trumpeter can be heard playing with Charlie Parker on some live performances in 1954 released elsewhere, but Pomeroy's 40-year career as a major educator at Berklee resulted in his being underdocumented on record. Since his retirement from teaching, the trumpeter's playing profile has been raised. Sounding like a mix between Jack Sheldon and Chet Baker, Pomeroy is often muted on a set of standards, displaying some understated power and creative ideas within the worlds of bop and swing. The rhythm section (featuring typically excellent solos from pianist Dave McKenna and guitarist Gray Sargent) clearly inspired both Pomeroy and Byrne. Some of the instrumental highlights include "Taps Miller," a slower-than-usual "Take the 'A' Train," and "The Intimacy of the Blues."

Biography

Born: Ma

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Donna Byrne hasn't strayed far from her birthplace as she pursues her singing career in New England. Aside from listening to big bands on the radio as a child, her first real jazz experience came when she discovered some Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald records at an uncle's house. Many years of taking dancing lessons exposed her to standards. All of this eventually led to private voice lessons. When she started working her first gig, a happy hour in Falmouth, Massachusetts in 1977 (she was eight...
Full bio
Walking On Air, Donna Byrne
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