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Don Byron Plays the Music of Mickey Katz

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 1, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

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There's a strong connection between Don Byron's humor and his profound musical curiosity, two qualities that distinguish him from his more conservative contemporaries. Both are much to the fore in this faithful tribute to Mickey Katz, a witty and innovative clarinetist who brought virtuosity and a compulsive comedy to the klezmer tradition, both with Spike Jones in the '40s and later on his own. Byron's interest in klezmer was hardly faddish when he recorded this 1993 date. His involvement dated back to his student years in the early 1980s when he joined Boston's Klezmer Conservatory Band, one of the most faithful practitioners of the form. Forging links between black and Jewish outsider traditions, Byron is as attracted by Katz's love of pastiche and parody as he is by the klezmer clarinet tradition, including Katz's takes on cowboy, Russian, and Hawaiian music. The band is superb, with fine performances by trumpeter Dave Douglas, pianist Uri Caine, and violinist Mark Feldman, as well as Byron. Together they balance contemporary musical interests with an archival re-creation of some spirited Yiddish comedy. --Stuart Broomer

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Product details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: June 1, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005J1Z
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,451 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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