Bang On A Can & Don Byron (RIYL Marc Ribot, Lounge Lizards, Jim Jarmusch and The Knitting Factory before it went "indie yuppie")


This is not going to look, smell or sound like anything you’d hear on Songs:Illinois. But since this site is a means to help expose people to new independent music it’d ba a shame to let this opportunity pass. I’m not sure who else is going to be writing about this but I’d try these three sites if you’re interested: The Suburbs Are killing Us, Moistworks, or the new free jazz blog Destination: Out . The label for the influential avante garde jazz group Bang On A Can has just released an mp3 from their new cd Bang On A Can & Don Byron. I’m not at all familiar with Bang On A Can but I am a fan of clarinetist/composer Don Byron. He’s one of the few modern day jazzmen writing complicated, longform instrumental pieces that also have revolve around historical or literary themes. For example the compositions on the new record are divided between those about Ernie Kovacs and those devoted to the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII.

Besides the obvious reasons for writing about this music (it’s original and compelling), I also write about it because jazz labels typically haven’t embraced the blog world. I hope if several other bloggers pick up on this release and feature other songs from it then perhaps these small experimental jazz labels will find an audience. Here’s the second movement from Don Byron’s suite of music about or inspired by Ernie Novacs. Buy Bang On A Can & Don Byron here.

Eugene II [Download]

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3 Responses to “Bang On A Can & Don Byron (RIYL Marc Ribot, Lounge Lizards, Jim Jarmusch and The Knitting Factory before it went "indie yuppie")”

  1. LD says:

    A beautiful & sinister track…as you say, compelling.

    Many thanks.

  2. Janine says:

    Been a Bang On A Can fan for a while. seen them live in london several years ago. kind of like being at a rock gig!
    They usually have their own sound (because of directors Gordon, Lang, Wolfe) which isn’t quite so jazzy. This track reminded me a bit of Steve Martland.
    I would argue that you could trace at least one “path” to Bang On A Can’s own style via the Luciano Berio -> Louis Andriessen route. But of course there’s lots of other things feeding in here too.
    Thanks for pointing me to Don Byron!

  3. j montes says:

    thanks for the byron.
    bang on a can played a free show here at the cultural center (chicago) last year. GREAT stuff!