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Music for Six Musicians

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Album Review

Like its 2001 sequel, this 1995 outing delves heavily into Latin rhythms and boasts ambitious, well-wrought compositions, not to mention extraordinary playing — particularly from the unsung pianist Edsel Gomez and Byron himself, on both bass and B flat clarinets. The sextet also features Graham Haynes on cornet, Kenny Davis on electric bass, Jerry Gonzalez on congas, and Ben Wittman on drums. Four special guests appear (guitarist Bill Frisell, bassists Lonnie Plaxico and Andy Gonzalez, drummer Ralph Peterson), although the where-and-when particulars aren't spelled out on the disc packaging. Byron is clearly preoccupied with race politics here; most of his titles mention headline grabbers of the 1990s, from Shelby Steele, Clarence Thomas, and Ross Perot to Rodney King and Al Sharpton. The poet Sadiq begins the album with a reading of his tendentious "White History Month," which Byron sets against a winding clarinet chorale, "'Uh-Oh, Chango!'" Ultimately, however, the politics are more of an undercurrent than a central theme. Hip grooves and raucous interplay prevail, although Byron sets a more contemplative tone with "SEX/WORK (Clarence/Anita)," which has the flavor of a classical theme. Byron furthers the classical allusion with a virtuosic, unaccompanied reading of Manuel Ponce's "La Estrellita" and a fabulous duet with Edsel Gomez, "The Allure of Entanglement." ~ David R. Adler, Rovi


Born: 08 November 1958 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

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

An inspired eclectic, Byron has performed an array of musical styles with great success. Byron first attained a measure of notoriety for playing Klezmer, specifically the music of the late Mickey Katz. While the novelty of a black man playing Jewish music was enough to grab the attention of critics, it was Byron's jazz-related work that ultimately made him a major figure. Byron is an exceptional clarinetist from a technical perspective; he also possesses a profound imagination that best manifests...
Full bio
Music for Six Musicians, Don Byron
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  • 11,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Latin Jazz
  • Released: 1995

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