Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Album of the Day

A Fine Line: Arias & Lieder, by Don Byron (2000): I'd never heard of this guy, a jazz clarinetist, until the girlfriend gave me this disc for Xmas. On this album, the tunes alternate between instrumental versions of "songs" as well as vocal tracks (hence the subtitle). The vocal cuts are a mixed bag. "Glitter & Be Gay" is hard enough to take in the context of Candide and it's insufferable here. On the other hand, Roy Obrison's "It's Over" and the Sondheim song "The Ladies Who Do Lunch" are both very good. But it's on instrumentals like "Reach Out I'll Be There" where Byron, particularly on bass clarinet, really shines.

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