CD You Are #6: More Music for Six Musicians (CD 925393),
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You Are #6: More Music for Six Musicians
1. Theme from "Hatari"
2. You Are #6
5. Whisper in My Ear, A - (for Mario Bauza)
7. Belmondo's Lip
8. Shake 'Em Up
9. You Are #6.5
10. No Whine
11. Dark Room
12. Belmondo's Lip - (DJ Spooky Mix)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 322312A
Don Byron; Hans Wendl
Music For Six Musicians Ensemble: Don Byron (clarinet, bass clarinet); Leo Traversa (vocals, bass); Milton Cardona (vocals, congas, percussion); James Zollar (trumpet, flugelhorn); Edsel Gomez (piano); Ben Wittman (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel includes: Robert DeBellis (saxophone, flute); Ralph Alessi (trumpet); Curtis Fowlkes (trombone); J.D. Parran (flute); Hector Martignon (keyboards).
Engineers include: Tom Lazarus, Tom Schick, Brandon Mason.
Recorded at Allaire, Shokan, New York and Sear Sound Studios, New York, New York.
Composer: Don Byron.
Personnel: Don Byron (clarinet, bass clarinet); Milton Cardona (vocals, congas, percussion); Leo Traversa, Julie Patton (vocals); David Gilmore (guitar); Robert DeBellis (flute, alto flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); J.D. Parran (flute, alto flute); James Zollar (trumpet, flugelhorn); Ralph Alessi (trumpet); Curtis Fowlkes (trombone); Edsel Gomez (piano); Hector Martignon (keyboards); Ben Wittman (drums, percussion); Andreu Johnny Almendra, Mauro Refosco (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Tom Lazarus.
Recording information: Allaire Studios, Shokan, NY; Sear Sound Studios, New York, NY.
Arranger: Don Byron.
Don Byron's fourth Blue Note album is a belated follow-up to 1995's Music for Six Musicians. Six musicians are once again featured here, but they're joined by a large number of guests, bringing the cumulative total to 20. As always, Byron looks to unlikely sources for inspiration, beginning with Henry Mancini's theme from the 1962 John Wayne flick Hatari. (The artist is a diligent student of Mancini's music in general.) The rest of the tracks are originals, save for "Shake 'Em Up," a calypso party song that features Don Byron, Sr. on bass and Designer on vocals. Byron emphasizes an Afro-Carribean vibe throughout, often setting up dense, harmonically ambiguous vamps for group interplay, as on "Klang," "B-Setting," the extended piece "Dark Room," and the fragmentary "You Are #6," the last of which is reprised later in the program as "You Are #6.5." By the time we get to "A Whisper in My Ear" the sonorities are a bit more consonant and familiar, though no less evocative. Pianist Edsel Gomez and trumpeter James Zollar turn in strong solos. This being Latin music, the percussionists also loom large; they are Milton Cardona and Ben Wittman, along with guests Johnny Almendra and Mauro Refosco. The clarinet/piano duet "No Whine," hauntingly beautiful but a bit out of place, recalls what Byron and Uri Caine did with Puccini and Schumann on 2000's A Fine Line: Arias and Lieder. There are also the requisite Byron-esque oddities, like "Dub-Ya," a 58-second taunt directed at President Bush the younger. Julie Patton's vocalizing toward the end of "B-Setting" is quirky in the extreme, yet strangely compelling, as is the sample of seemingly overheard conversation that interrupts and ends the title track. Here Byron evinces an interest in album programming as sound collage, in the manner of a hip-hop artist (compare 1998's Nu Blaxploitation). In this light, it's all the more fitting that he concludes the record with a DJ Spooky remix of the infectious bossa nova "Belmondo's Lip." ~ David R. Adler
Down Beat (2/02, p.66) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...A fun disc featuring an ebullient band that is not overlooked with rhetoric....returning to Byron's ongoing Caribbean inclinations, but with much more force..."
JazzTimes (3/02, pp.68-70) - "...a thrilling improviser with a hearty tone, biting rhythmic sensibility and deliberate sense of direction....[it] parties hard, like it doesn't have a care in the world."
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Blue Note (Label) 5322312
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