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
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.