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Don Byron Prepares For New Album, Tour

Clarinetist Don Byron will release his fifth Blue Note album, Ivey-Divey, on September 21. Ivey-Divey finds Byron (pictured) in a trio with pianist Jason Moran and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The album’s title is an old jazzbo term coined and used mostly by saxophonist Lester Young-“Dig it, man, ivey-divey.” Its definition is loose. Byron used Young’s 1946 recording with Nat “King” Cole and Buddy Rich, The Lester Young Trio, as inspiration and a sort of blueprint for his new album, hence the bass-less band.

On the album Byron and Co. tackle four Young tunes, including “I Want to Be Happy” and “I Cover the Waterfront,” plus a couple of Miles Davis compositions and some originals. And on some of the album’s non-Young songs feature a bigger band. Bassist Lonnie Plaxico on five tracks, and trumpeter Ralph Alessi shows up on two.

“I didn’t want this just to be ‘Don Byron Plays Lester Young,'” Byron explained. “It’s the first record I’ve made that really reveals the challenge of what I’m working on as a musician, what I’m exploring in my playing.”

Here’s a full track list for Ivey-Divey:

I Want to Be Happy (Young)

Somebody Loves Me (Young)

I Cover the Waterfront (Young)

I’ve Found a New Baby (Young)

Himm (Byron)

The Goon Drag (Byron)

Abie the Fishman (Byron)

Lefty Teachers at Home (Byron)

“Leopold, Leopold…” (Byron)

Freddie Freeloader (Davis)

In A Silent Way (Davis/Zawinul)

Somebody Loves Me (Byron)

Byron will be touring with Moran and DeJohnette in October, with a stop at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September. Tour dates (Billy Hart replaces DeJohnette on dates marked with *):

September 18 Monetrey Jazz Festival

*October 8 NYC Symphony Space/Thalia Th. TRIO w/Billy

October 16 Portland, OR TBA

October 17 San Francisco Jazz Festival

*October 27-29 midwest dates TBA

*October 30 San Diego, CA

*October 31 Seattle, WA Earshot Jazz Festival

Byron will also be playing at New York City’s Iridium Jazz Club on August 12-15 with conga player Milton Cardona, drummer Ben Wittman, bassist Leo Traversa, pianist Edsel Gomez, and trumpeter James Zollar. The group-known as Music For Six Musicians-formed in 1994 for the recording of Byron’s third album.

The Iridium Jazz Club is located at 1650 Broadway in Manhattan. Byron will play sets at 8 and 10 p.m. on Thursday August 12- Sunday August 15. For reservations call 212-582-2121 or visit

Originally Published