Don Byron - album review (3 stars)

Don Byron

Do The Boomerang (Blue Note Records)


Don Byron has a reputation for embarking on eclectic and occasionally rather eccentric musical projects. This latest outing is a tribute to the music of the Motown sax star Junior Walker, a choice that also provided the perfect excuse for the clarinettist to record ten of the twelve selections on an instrument he has rarely been heard on, tenor saxophone.

Both experiments work very well. This is not an occasion where a group of sophisticated jazzers take the music of a popular icon and transform it in complex or abstract fashion. It is a funky, soulful, party album that hits the groove running and stays there, with some impressive jazz soloing thrown in for good measure. Tracks include ‘Shotgun’ and ‘(I’m a) Roadrunner’, as well as James Brown’s ‘There It Is’.

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