Friday, March 2, 2012

Pete's Pantheon: He Writes! He Teaches! He Honks! He Screeches! Mr. Don Byron!

It would be a sorrier, drabber world without the music smarts of clarinettist Don Byron. Who else could expose "Danke Shoen" as a music industry vaccine against authentic world music, a vaccine made of a dead or weakened strain of real music? Who else would transcribe the complex compositions of Micky Katz, assemble a crack team of downtown noisemakers and reproduce the bygone brilliance of that forgotten Klezmer Dybbuk? Who else would find the link between Raymond Scott, John Kirby and Duke Ellington, and illustrate his point using an episode of the Flintstones? And just to tie things up in a neat bow, Who else has the chops to be a repeat winner as best clarinettist in the Downbeat Reader's Poll? He writes! he teaches! He honks! He screeches! Give it up for Don Byron!

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