Bonnie Raitt, singer
Clarinetist ~ Saxophonist

Don Byron

November 8, 1958, New York, NY

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. ~ All About Jazz: Don Byron ~ retrieved November 8, 2015 © All About Jazz

An exceptional clarinetist from a technical perspective; he also possesses a profound imagination that best manifests itself in his multifarious compositions. At heart, Byron is a conceptualist. Each succeeding album seems based on a different stylistic approach, from the free jazz/classical leanings of his first album, Tuskegee Experiments, to the hip-hop/funk of Nu Blaxpoitation. ~ Allmusic: Don Byron ~ retrieved November 8, 2015 © Allmusic

Continued right after these…

Honoring musicians. Celebrating birthdays. Remembering death days.

November 8, 1986 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (1) Cyndi Lauper, True Colors ~ #2 (3) Robert Palmer, I Didn't Mean To Turn You On ~ #1 (4) Boston, Amanda


This leads Byron to reflect on another Jakes sermon, “Let It Go.” For this one, the pastor supplied his sea of Dallas churchgoers with helium-filled balloons and Sharpie pens. He instructed them to write whatever hard feelings or painful memories they had onto the balloons and let them ascend into the air. “Letting go of hurts - very Freudian,” Byron says. “There were some hurts that I needed to let go. Even guys that are less Freudian than this, when they catch you on the right day they are talking directly to you.” The night before, at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, Byron did some preaching of his own. He talked directly to the packed audience about the music and life of bluesman-turned-gospel architect Thomas A. Dorsey, whose influence on the genre is so monumental it’s difficult to imagine it existing without his contributions. Byron also delighted the crowd with music from his new disc, Love, Peace, and Soul (Savoy Jazz), an intriguing homage to the gospel tradition, in particular the legacies of Dorsey and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. ~ Jazz Times: Don Byron, Song Of A Preacher Fan ~ June 6, 2012 © Jazz Times

As a Session musician, guest or band member

Cassandra Wilson ~ Blue Light 'Til Dawn (1993) ~ Ranked #94 Jazzwise 100 Jazz Albums That Shook The World in 2006 ~ Female jazz vocals had gone through many false dawns between the late 1960s and the arrival of Cassandra Wilson’s blue light in 1993. ~ 2006 © Jazzwise

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