Byron Walls
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Byron Walls

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Folk Acoustic

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Jun
05
Byron Walls @ Java Joes Cafe

Ventura, California, USA

Ventura, California, USA

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MONTHLY JAZZ NEWSLETTER:


Featured Artist: Byron Walls
CD Title: Calm, Cool & Collected
Year: 2002
Record Label: String Jazz
Style: Jazz Vocals
Musicians: Byron Walls (vocals); John Pisano (guitar); John Ferraro (drums); Chuck Berghoffer (bass); WarrenLuening (trumpet, flugelhorn).


REVIEW: Although the name of Byron Walls will be unfamiliar to most readers, his compositions graced the repertoires of such pop stars as Glen Yarborough, Emmy Lou Harris, Andy Williams and Burl Ives. Walls worked as a comedian, actor, singer and songwriter over the past four decades and lives in Hollywood.
Beginning in 1960s San Francisco, Byron Walls spent four years at the famed Purple Onion prior to joining The New Christy Minstrels. The mid seventies were spent as a staff-songwriter with Warner Brothers Music.
The entertainer now returns to music after a 20-year absence. Endowed with an honest and natural voice, Byron Walls has evolved a very cool jazz delivery. The artistry of guitarist John Pisano blends beautifully with Wall’s voice and compositions and results in a convincing jazz session. Pisano, a veteran of many top outfits, often accompanied Peggy Lee.
The songs on this CD are all composed by the performer and offer a panorama of his moods and pleasures. There is a fine tribute to the late Satchmo, titled simply Louis. Warren Luening plays a fine trumpet solo on the piece. Humor is an essential part of all Byron’s work and shows up strongly on A Little Piece Of Me, a.k.a. I’ve Had a Rotten Disposition Ever Since My Circumcision. Bassist, Chuck Berghoffer shows his abilities on this tune.
I enjoyed most tracks on this delightful album. The title tune, Calm, Cool & Collected is a gem. Others deserving special praise are When I Found You, Easier Dreamed Than Done and Things Change/I>.
Other jazz singers have expressed their admiration for this CD. Tony Bennett, Blossom Dearie and Karrin Allyson have made their praises known. I look forward to more by this very talented performer.


Tracks: Calm, Cool & Collected; Louis; Things Change; The World’s a Tuxedo; A Piece Of Me; Next To You; Holiday In The Andes; When I Found You; Easier Dreamed Than Done; The Poem; Jump Off The Edge And Fly.

Reviewed by: Richard Bourcier











- CD: Calm, Cool, and Collected




Byron Walls
Album
Calm, Cool and Collected


CATEGORY:
Jazz Vocal
Review by Dave Nathan

In the manner of a present day troubadour, Byron Walls has pulled together tunes covering a conglomeration of human conditions he has written over the last 20 years for such diverse performers as Andy Williams and Glenn Yarborough. From the sad and fatalistic "Things Change" to the amusing "A Piece of Me," Walls is funny, hip, defiant, world weary, sardonic and sometimes even hopeful, but mostly cool and witty. For example, the protagonist of the latter tune doesn't want anyone to get a piece of him since he has already lost a piece of himself via circumcision. So "no one gets a piece of him unless he comes along". It's the kind of music one would likely hear in the coffee houses and small clubs if such venues were as common today as they were in the 1960's. Walls dispenses all of this emotional potpourri in a sincere manner with his light, melodic voice. He is joined on this session by some high quality, well-recognized jazz musicians. In addition to the trio of John Pisano, Chuck Berghoffer and John Ferraro, Warren Luening joins the group on trumpet and flugelhorn for"Louis" (a psalm to Louis Armstrong), "Holiday Inn in the Andes" and "Jump off the Edgeand Fly." Jeanne Pisano provides the backup vocal on the last tune. Walls falls nicely into that vocal category of witty, carefree performers who deliver comments on life with their vocal and/or compositional wares such as Dave Frishberg, Mark Murphy. Bob Dorough and Mose Allison and brushing against the satire of a Tom Lehrer. If you like these singers and their work, you'll love Walls and this album.
Tracks




Title
Composer
Time     1 Calm, Cool, and Collected Walls 3:28

    2 Louis Walls 3:05

    3 Things Change Walls 3:59

    4 The World's a Tuxedo Walls 3:21

    5 A Piece of Me Walls 3:31

    6 Next to You Schuyler, Walls 2:16

    7 Holiday Inn in the Andes Walls 3:13

    8 When I Found You Walls 4:56

    9 Easier Dreamed Than Done Walls 4:31

    10 The Poem Nogueira, Walls 2:52

    11 Jump Off the Edge and Fly Walls 3:33
Releases
Year
Type
Label
Catalog # 2000 CD Orchard 7346
2000 CD Santiam 002
2002 CD String Jazz 1018
 

 


- Dave Nathan


Discography

1999 - "If I Knew Then What I Know Now" Songs written in a folk, folk-country bag.

2002 - "Calm, Cool, and Collected." A collection of my jazzier songs featuring some legendary jazz players...John Pisano (Guitar), Chuck Berghoffer (Bass), and John Ferraro, (Drums).

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Bio

I grew up in Corvallis, Oregon where my father was head of the Music Department at Oregon State Univ. I went there for two years then ended up at San Francisco State with a BA and MA in Music.

The whole point of those degrees was to become a teacher but I decided I'd rather sing myself than teach others how to, so, in the early 60s I started singing folksongs in San Francisco nightclubs (Purple Onion, Hungry I) with my folk trio, "The Travellers," opening for Phyllis Diller and Mort Sahl.

In the mid-70s I toured with Glenn Yarbrough and the Limeliters as part of their back-up band....and as "in house" songwriter. They recorded 6 of my songs during that time. "Grandma's Letter" has become one of Glenn's signature songs over the last 25 years.

Others who have done my songs include Burl Ives Emmy Lou Harris, Andy Williams, Ed Ames, The Kendalls, Ronnie Milsap, and Blossom Dearie.

My website address: www.byronwalls.com