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Do the Boomerang: The Music of Junior Walker


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Audio CD, December 27, 2011
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Cleo's Mood 5:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Ain't That The Truth 4:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Do the Boomerang 3:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Mark Anthony Speaks 3:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Shotgun 4:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. There It Is 7:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Satan's Blues 5:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Hewbie Steps Out 2:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Pucker Up, Buttercup 3:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Tally-Ho 3:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. What does it take (to win your Love) 3:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. (I'm a) Roadrunner 2:55$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 27, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: BLUE NOTE
  • ASIN: B000HKDEAG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,230 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Do the Boomerang: The Music of Junior Walker by Don Byron

This product is manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

Amazon.com

It's not as though wide-ranging avant-garde jazz clarinetist Don Byron hasn't pulled a rock tribute out of his trick bag before: His 1998 album, Nu Blaxploitation, resurrected songs by '70s funk-rock band Mandrill. Still, this tribute to Junior Walker, the Motown singer and saxist best known for his 1965 hit, "Shotgun," comes as a surprise--as does Byron's decision to play tenor saxophone on all but two tracks. A full-scale, supercharged, organ-wailing production featuring Chris Thomas King and Dean Bowman on lead vocals ("Shotgun" is sung by the latter), Do the Boomerang was built for pleasure. While it lacks the raw, earthy essence of vintage Junior--with his smaller tenor sound, Byron hangs back much of the time--the fullness, energy and tightness of the music make up for that. And while King's bow to James Brown on the hard funk tune, "There It Is," seems out out place, it's good hearing forgotten songs like the instrumental, "Mark Anthony Speaks," alongside familiar faves like "Pucker Up Buttercup." --Lloyd Sachs

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tim Niland on October 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Clarinetist and saxophonist Don Byron's eccentricity is well known in the jazz community as he has recorded tributes to musicians of different genres like klezmer artist Mickey Katz and jazz legends Lester Young and Duke Ellington. Add to that list R&B saxophonist Junior Walker, who was active in the Motown scene in the 1960's and 70's. On this album, Byron appropriately concentrates on tenor saxophone and is joined by David Gilmore on guitar, George Colligan on organ, Brad Jones on bass, Rodney Holmes on drums, Curtis Fowlkes trombone and Dean Bowman and Chris Thomas King on vocals. The music on this CD recalls the glory days of rhythm and blues, keeping the songs short and solos to the point. The band works well as a team, with solos being spread generously amongst group members.

"Mark Anthony Speaks" has some great soul-jazz guitar from Gilmore and greasy Jimmy Smith style organ, and the uproarious "Shotgun" has some bootin' tenor saxophone and very cool funky vocals, as does "Pucker Up, Buttercup" which covers the poppy end of the Walker spectrum with swirling organ and swinging vocals. "There It Is" is a little out of place, being a James Brown cover, Brown and Walker were both pillars of soul music, but their approaches were quite different. While the focus is primarily on uptempo numbers, "What Does It Take" does slow things a little bit to a slow simmering pace, and "Satan's Blues" is a slow, grinding number that gets down and dirty. While I'd really like to hear more original music from Byron and fewer tributes, there's no denying that this disc is a lot of fun and fans of soul-jazz and old-school R&B should enjoy it. The cover art is really cool too, I wish this was available on vinyl...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tess Heder on December 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Great pick, Don!

During the 60's, the legendary Jr. Walker and his All Stars band was the undisputed King of dance parties, singer sax player band leader showman song writer hit-maker live performer. His signature whinnying sax intros mellowed as he segued into the 70's writing instrumental classics. The man packed a whole lot of punch into a short life.

'Do The Boomerang' is a well-blended concert of totally danceable smooth jazz with a sultry edge that showcases the music Jr. Walker [as Autry DeWalt Jr.] wrote and made famous. Don Byron's playing and improvisations on tenor sax, clarinet, bass clarinet are consistently terrific. Jazz vocalists Dean Bowman and Chris Thomas King take over and take off with Jr. Walker's vocals, leaving Don free to take off instrumentally and paint his own pictures where Jr. Walker never trod. Likewise for the guitar and trombone members of the band. Hints of rock organ and tambourine keep those great dance beats authentic thruout. The the crew and production are A-OK. Check out the clips!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Case Quarter VINE VOICE on February 2, 2007
Format: Audio CD
this recording is just what it is: the music of junior walker. by don byron on tenor sax on all tracks except when he plays clarinet and bass clarinet on two other tracks. lots of organ and guitar and heavy bass and drums summon from the past funky rhythm and blues, not quite as drenched in funk as the old school originals, but not bad for a visitor. yes, you can dance to these tunes, and there are vocals.

as for jazz? i was thinking of ornette coleman and his origins of funky soul music before he went jazz and jazz classical.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Music maven on December 17, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I really like Don Byron and I really like Junior Walker, but for entirely different reasons, and having Byron play Walker is a plan that couldn't work. Byron is a clean, intellectual player, and most of his recordings take advantage of that, giving him spare, clean settings. But Junior Walker is pure gutbucket party, and any tribute to him requires a player with that same kind of head-thrown-back wailing abandon. Frankly, I don't see the point in anyone covering Walker's songs--no one could ever surpass that feeling, and very few could come close to duplicating it. But Don Byron is on the other end of the scale and less successful than most would be. The problem is compounded by a recording style that clamps down the sound and buries the drums and bass in the mix, with a snare sound that more like cardboard box than rifle shot. Rodney Holmes is a fine drummer, but, like Byron he just doesn't have that supercharged abandon that's needed for these songs. David Gilmore is the one bright spot on the CD, as he has been on so many recordings. He plays with exactly the kind of bluesy guts that this music needs, and his funk is truly funky. I don't know why he isn't much better known than he is. He can play anything, and he always gives it everything he's got.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rick Heilberg on January 5, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've seen some dismissive reviews of this tribute to Jr. Walker, but I have enjoyed it completely ever since I first heard Cleo's Mood on the radio a little over a month ago.

The whole project (the appropriate word to use when discussing a Don Byron album) feels like it is saturated with love and appreciation. It also sounds like everyone is really enjoying themselves, something I always like to hear. The oddity for me is that Byron has decided to play his tenor sax (very well, if it needs saying) for most of the record. Because the few songs on which he played his clarinet worked so well, it was puzzling that he didn't use it on more songs. Either way, Byron and his band (special props to guitarist David Gilmore and organist George Colligan) have created a fitting tribute to one of his early musical heroes (actually, there's a James Brown number in here too, so make that two heroes), adding their own unique ingredients to the mix, without losing Walker's original energy.

So it one of Byrons best records? Maybe, but it is definitely one of my favorites.
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