Baron Tymas | Blues for the Tribe

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Jazz: World Fusion Jazz: Bebop Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Blues for the Tribe

by Baron Tymas

Upbeat and creative jazz, with bop, blues, brazilian, spanish and west African roots. Great improvisations, group sympatico, energy, compositions and mood.
Genre: Jazz: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Stone Flower
5:37 $0.99
2. Saxsmo Goes to Woodstock
5:10 $0.99
3. Dimples
3:52 $0.99
4. Broken Bottles
6:51 $0.99
5. Blues for the Tribe
11:01 $0.99
6. Afro Blue
7:10 $0.99
7. Please
6:59 $0.99
8. Got a Match
11:46 $0.99
9. Diamond Dust
8:41 $0.99
10. Seven Steps to Heaven
5:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This exciting debut project from guitarist Baron Tymas grabs from a hundred bags to concoct its brand of jazz. The result: rich and modern compositions, animated by potent improvisation, poignant lyricism and the blues.
Baron’s cohorts include Stephen Riley (saxophonist, Steeplechase Records), Nate Smith (drummer with Dave Holland and Chris Potter), Damon Brown, John V. Brown, Mitch Butler, James “Saxsmo” Gates, Carl Lester El, II, Ed Paolantonio, Thomas Taylor and Jody Boyd. These outstanding artists are further proof of the unique and beautiful music coming out of the southeastern U.S. Here, the feel of the ensemble is everything, and cats are actually listening to each other. Their burning solos are a bonus.
All performances were captured without overdubs, save “Dimples,” a multi-layered original samba for acoustic guitar and shekere. The other nine tracks, four of which are originals, explore hard bop, latin jazz, polymeter and extended form. The recordings come out of several short sessions—on stage in Richmond, Virginia, at Jody Boyd’s Richmond studio and at NC Central University, where Tymas is a music professor. The music exemplifies genuine spontanaeity, great playing and a lot of heart.
An electric and acoustic guitarist of tremendous skill, emotion and versatility, Baron Tymas makes fiery, yet beautiful original jazz music, drawing inspiration from bebop, funk, rock, blues, classical, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Spanish, Indian, gypsy, reggae and west African traditions. The melodies are striking, yet thoughtful, the harmonies deceptively modern, and the rhythms grooving, but unpredictable.
Currently, Baron leads the Baron Tymas trio, with bassist Damon Brown and drummer Thomas Taylor.
Tymas is an assistant professor of music at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. At NCCU, he is head of the guitar program and Assistant Director of Jazz Studies. He is a dynamic and passionate performer, composer and educator, who plays regularly in the southeast and occasionally throughout the U.S. and abroad. During the summers, he also teaches at National Guitar Workshop's New Milford, Connecticut and McLean, Virginia campuses.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Tymas performed throughout the mid-Atlantic region, especially with the award-winning reggae band Black Sheep and the powerful jazz fusion group Cross Currents. Black Sheep toured extensively, performing many times alongside great artists such as Third World, Burning Spear, Steel Pulse and the Wailers. Black Sheep was a very unique, high-energy group that featured singer Isa Abdullah, saxophonist Dontez Harris, bassist Moata Kenyatta, percussionist Abasi Johnson and a revolving door of drummers, notably Sean Rickman, Bruce Royal and Barry Sherard. The band's 1990 release, Learn from Each Other, was named "Best Reggae Recording " by the Washington Area Music Association.
Cross Currents included Baron, guitar synthesist Charles Wright, bassist Avon Lucas and drummer Sean Peck. The group held a two-year house gig at a popular nightspot in Washington's Adams Morgan area from 1993 through 1995. The Adams Morgan gig was a frequent forum for late-night cutting sessions with hot musicians travelling through the D.C. area with national acts. By then, Baron had finished graduate school, having earned a masters degree in music from Howard University in 1992. Around that time, Baron even acted a bit, appearing in the Washington production of George C. Wolfe’s Spunk, for which he also composed and performed music.
During the course of his studies, Baron has been privileged to study with many great teachers, including Geri Allen, Arthur Dawkins, Calvin Jones, Mick Goodrick, Bob Sinicrope, Bill Harris, John Baboian, Pat Martino, Jimmy Bruno, Frank Bahus and Reppard Stone.
Between 1995 and 2002, Tymas performed extensively with the Virginia-based group F.R.E.N.S., whose cd, The First Time (Lifegroove Records, 1997) received significant airplay. F.R.E.N.S. has played hundreds of club, festival and private dates in the Eastern U.S. and Europe. The group has been privileged to host many great guests performing or sitting in with the band (such as Chaka Khan, Will Kennedy, Pieces of a Dream, Rene Marie, Desiree Roots, James Gates and Skip Gailes). Band members include vocalist/percussionist Rudy Faulkner, keyboardist Lance Dickerson, bassist Carl Lester El II and, at various times since the group's inception, drummers Ira "Nate" Smith, Carter Beauford, Ronny Cokes and Luther "Junnie" Collins. Baron still relishes the rare chance to play with this powerhouse group.
While playing with F.R.E.N.S., Tymas kept extremely busy, teaching at the University of Richmond, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Virginia Union University and Virginia Commonwealth University. He also maintained a full roster of private students in the Richmond area. At that time, Baron also developed a close musical friendship with the powerful Virginia-based saxophonist James Gates, Jr., on whose CD, Come on Over to My House, he contributes lead and rhythm guitar tracks. Baron also took great inspiration from playing with other notable Virginia jazz artists, such as Rene Marie, Desiree Roots, Kevin Teasley, T. Howard Curtis, Skip Gailes, Bob Halahan, Clarence Seay, Russell Wilson, Weldon Hill, Jamael Nance and others.
In 2000 and 2001, Baron served on the Board of Directors of the Richmond Jazz Society. He has served on advisory panels of other arts organizations, such as the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Durham Arts Council.
Baron joined the NCCU faculty in 2001. At NCCU, he teaches jazz and guitar courses and is a member of the Faculty Jazz Combo, an outstanding group that also includes saxophonists Ira Wiggins, Brian Horton and Arnold George, trumpeter Jay Meachum, trombonist Robert Trowers, pianist Ed Paolantonio, bassist Damon Brown and drummer Thomas Taylor.
In 2004, trombonist Mitch Butler invited Baron to join Nebulous. Other bandmembers include saxophonist Stephen Riley, bassist Damon Brown and drummer Thomas Taylor. 2004 also marked Baron's first season on the faculty of National Guitar Workshop.



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Jean- Christophe NIQUET

appy New Year
Great Music! Happy New Year for you and the Family from Paris.

Your Friend,


Scotta Barsella

Blues for the Tribe Review, Great Music, Great Musicians
Blues for the Tribe - This innovative and classic cd gives a listener a variety of styles and moods to choose from while keeping one's attention from beginning to end. It has originality, diversity, sensitivity and energy, and every now and then, a tremendous sense of humor kicks in. The rendering of each tune is noteworthy. I particularly like "Dimples" and "Please," which I believe are originals, and "Got a Match?" on this cd is by far the best version I've ever heard, and then, there’s “Afro Blue.” This cd is a collaboration of talented people being together, playing great music together, producing sounds that only the best of the great musicians can, all while having a great time together doing what they individually love to do. Its ending seems to echo, "And that's how that goes.”

Cliff Bellamy, The Herald-Sun, Durham, NC

NCCU professor and guitarist releases new album of jazz

October 19, 2006

DURHAM -- Guitarist and composer Baron Tymas is well known to students at N.C. Central University, where he is a full-time music teacher. Triangle jazz fans know him well, too: Chances are if you've heard live music by an ensemble at a local venue, Tymas at one time or another was part of it.

Now Tymas has released a CD, "Blues for the Tribe" (available at, a collection of 10 compositions -- five standards and five original works from Tymas. This CD has some excellent small ensemble work and is well worth checking out.

While there are some good interpretations of standards here -- particularly the arrangement of "Afro Blue" -- Tymas' originals are what show off his talent. " 'Saxsmo' Goes to Woodstock," named after alto saxophonist James B. "Saxsmo" Gates Jr., is very much in the bop tradition, with its upbeat melody. "Broken Bottles" has a pretty melody, a gentle swing feel, and plays some subtle tricks with meter.

The title track is the pièce de résistance of this collection. Tymas crafts a slinky melody line that suggests Thelonious Monk or Ornette Coleman, played on alto by Gates, with a strong funk rhythm in the bass and drums. Gates delivers a blistering, extended and adventurous solo, while Tymas, Carl Lester El II (bass guitar) and Ira "Nate" Smith (drums) also take solos.

"Please" is a ballad in waltz time, on which Tymas and Ed Paolantonio (electric piano) produce some interesting tone colors. The ensemble work is central throughout this recording, but Tymas makes a bit of a departure on "Dimples," the only piece on the CD that is an almost exclusive vehicle for the guitarist to solo.

Tymas will perform some of the music from his CD at a release party today. Go to hear some great music -- and to take note of how many cut-above musicians we have in our midst.