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Bug Music: Music Of The Raymond Scott Quintette, John Kirby & His Orchestra, And The Duke Ellington Orchestra

Don ByronAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Price: $17.51 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 16 Songs, 2007 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1996 $17.51  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Dicty Glide 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Frasquita Serenade 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. St. Louis Blues 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Wondering Where 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Bounce fo the Sugar Plum Fairies 1:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Charles Prelude 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Royal Garden Blues 1:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Siberian Sleighride 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Penguin 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. The Quintet Plays Carmen 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Powerhouse 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Tobacco Auctioneer 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. War Dance for Wooden Indians 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Cotton Club Stomp 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Blue Bubbles 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Snibor 9:47$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 15, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000002I2Z
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,175 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, John Kirby and Raymond Scott all employed groundbreaking compositional techniques that both bewitched the public and critics alike. With Bug Music, clarinetist Don Byron, an inventor and innovator in his own right, has reexamined this substantial body of American music. Rather than simply playing the tunes as note-for-note recreations, Byron has chosen to "recognize 'out' ideas in other composers, recycle them and synthesize something new within the circumstances of their own era and genre; to combine information from outside sources with one's individual sense of what is possible." (Byron, from the liner note). Bug Music is another of Byron's explorations into the possibilities of ensemble music. Byron further expands this reputation by viewing this body of work in a way that has not been done before - as another framework that describes the potential of improvisatory and scored music, from yesterday and tomorrow.

When Duke Ellington began to slip classical motifs and structures into his jazz compositions in the '30s, two fellow composers took his example as a challenge to do the same. Raymond Scott played movie music, led the house band on the popular radio show, "Your Hit Parade," and supplied much of the music for Carl Stalling's famous cartoon scores; John Kirby led a jazz combo that included Ben Webster, Russell Procope and Charlie Shavers. All three bandleaders are saluted on Bug Music. The music inside is playful and joyful, with Byron's clarinet skipping and jumping through the catchy melodies and quirky rhythms. In fact, what's most striking about the recording is not the mix of jazz and classical music, but the mix of jazz and humor, an all too rare combination these days. --Geoffrey Himes

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT just nostalgia January 7, 2003
Format:Audio CD
A previous reviewer mocked this album as no different than what Wynton Marsalis does. I respectfully disagree. While Don Byron is reviving music too little known (Kirby, Scott), and honoring the well-known (Ellington), and not taking any liberties with the content... he's NOT suggesting that jazz should be frozen in time, or that anything freer than bop is just noise, the way, say, Marsalis does.
Sure, i dig this recording. But i also dig his radical, modern works like the Tuskegee Experiment, his Knitting Factory work, and his sideman work with the likes of Marc Ribot. You will NOT hear Wyton Marsalis playing with Marc Ribot or Bill Frisell!
Respect for the past, and an eye to the future - that's what jazz ought to be, i think. Contrary to opinion, i think the cool thing about this album isn't that people will listen to it and then go listen to Raymond Scott or Duke Ellington. No, the cool thing is that they'll listen to this and then open their ears up to something genuinely new and radical with Byron's gorgeous modern works.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Virtuoso Clarinettist Don Byron assembles an all-star cast to help him resurrect some generally overlooked pieces of Jazz history. This is a loving tribute to VERY early Ellington, John Kirby and Raymond Scott (he of the six player Quintette). If you've ever wondered what Jazz would sound like if Bird had never been born; or if you're a Ben Webster or Coleman Hawkins fan; or if you like "Looney Tunes" music by Carl Stallings; or if you just liked the music in Robert Altman's "Kansas City", this is the disc for you. (Byron appearred in the referenced film and one wonders if he got the idea for this disc from that experience.) Try this disc; you'll like it.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Work January 11, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I noticed that most of my Amazon reviews were negative. I tend to rant when something fails, but I rarely go online to express the joy that some products bring -- I'm clearly a grump. So I decided to write about something that elates me day in and out.

This music is beautifully played, well recorded, and my whole family enjoys it. My wife and I chose 'Charlie's Prelude' as our wedding song, our two-year-old daughter will dance anytime we put on this CD, and I've even had the great fortune to see Don Byron's group play these almost-impossible-to-execute tracks live.

Bug Music is just a terrific work. Buy it and enjoy it!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True Cool is Ageless February 13, 2000
Format:Audio CD
OK, this is not exactly my usual CD purchase, but I happened to hear Byron and band playing cuts from this album on NPR's "Fresh Air", and before I knew it I was flying for the keyboard. This stuff is incredibly fun, and man, does it swing! This is also the ultimate "atmosphere" album- put this on and you will have the coolest house in town.
The selections represent some of the most enduring flowers of prewar America's Jazz Age. The arrangements are outstanding- completely true to the originals, but still managing to sound as fresh and vital and new and relevant as the first time they were played. These songs are definitely _not_ "moldy oldies" despite their years- True Cool is Ageless, and this is true cool. The musicianship is also uniformly incredible.
My favorite cuts are "The Dicty Glide", an amazingly elegant little piece even by Duke Ellington standards, and the joyously frenetic "Powerhouse", which as others have pointed out will be recognizable to anyone who has seen the classic Warner Bros. cartoons. It also never hurts to have great renditions of "St. Louis Blues" and "Cotton Club Stomp" around.
One of the greatest gifts of this album for me was an introduction to the music of Raymond Scott- I want to party with that dude. ;-{)
It isn't my favorite jazz album- and I have to disagree rather violently with the reviewer who placed it alongside 'Kind of Blue'- but it's mighty fine. I'm glad I bought it and I listen to it often. Highly recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably fresh August 2, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Fantastically fresh re-creations and re-interpretations of Raymond Scott and a few others. Raymond Scott's music is familiar to almost everyone, as it was used in by Carl Stalling in Warner Brothers cartoons (Bugs Bunny and etc.). This record shows off how wonderful that music was and is. On first listening, the images of the cartoons tied to this music was inescapable for me - but those images have faded from my mind as I've listened repeatedly over the past year, and the music stands on its own now. Very engaging. Don Byron and his assembled band are phenomenal.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grows on y ou March 7, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I bought this for my two year old and didn't love it at first listen. Was expecting something livelier. My son liked it (though I think he was initially drawn to the colorful cover) and now I listen to it about 10 times a week. I've come to love this album. It's fun, and swings, and feels happy without ever feeling cloying. Definitely not Kenny G. The ideal album to listen to first thing in the morning, or right after you wake kids up from a nap. Great to listen to while you dance around in the living room.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Holds Up February 2, 2010
Format:Audio CD
I bought this when it first came out in 1999 and I have to say that, ten years later, it's still one of my favorite albums. The quintet is not only technically flawless, and the orchestrations sublime, but it has introduced me to composers I otherwise wouldn't have known, and reintroduced me to some of the greats. Perfect music for getting everyone in a good mood. Get it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of 10 CDs I'd take to the desert island
If there are peak experiences, this is one of my peak CDs. It has been on the top of my playlists for more than a decade. I still give it as a gift to my dearest friends. Read more
Published 8 months ago by eggsnatcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Bug Music: more than just a gem
This album is one of the real jewels in my collection, which is extensive. Every number is an individual masterpiece, and the quality of the arrangements, the magic of the music,... Read more
Published on June 29, 2009 by Robert C. Burket
3.0 out of 5 stars Respectable but...
I suspect some folks are buying this album for the Raymond Scott tunes. If so, please, please, consider buying the original. Read more
Published on October 24, 2008 by Powell E. Barber
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
This music is energetic, joyous, creative and inspiring. And addictive, as some of the tunes live on in one's head long after listening! Read more
Published on August 20, 2005 by C. J. Fuller
5.0 out of 5 stars Motivating Jazz will take you back...
I enjoyed this album much more than I thought that I would. Listening to it evokes many excited emotions, and it's great to dance to.
Published on August 9, 2005 by Michael M. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars For grown-ups AND kids!
This is a favorite when looking for an energy pop ... sort of caffeine on CD. And during a week-long painting project with a 13-year old, all hip hop and rap, this was the single... Read more
Published on December 4, 2003 by Alanna Kellogg
4.0 out of 5 stars explores nostalgic moods; paints vivid images
Several reviewers have used the word "playful." I agree, but that single word doesn't capture the complexity of the mood set by the music on this CD. Read more
Published on February 11, 2002 by tbc0
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Big Band
This recording accompanies other lively big band recordings well, and has the added component of humor up-front. Read more
Published on August 2, 2001 by disco75
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