Don Burrows: 1928-2020
Don Burrows, a multi-instrumentalist known largely in Australia, where he spent much of his professional career and where he became a significant jazz performer and recording artist, died on March 12, 2020. He was 91.
Burrows recorded on nearly every reed and woodwind instrument and in many different jazz styles, from Dixieland to fusion. In Australia, he was often called upon to play in orchestras backing marquee pop singers on tour, including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Cleo Lane. He also performed with touring jazz stars such as Dizzy Gillespie, Nat King Cole and Oscar Peterson.
While hugely popular in Australia, where he became a fixture on televised variety shows and concerts, Burrows was little known in the U.S. That's largely because his records weren't widely distributed here, probably because labels required touring to support their release. Burrows didn't tour much outside of Australia. That decision was likely a practical one, since travel abroad would have taken him away from home for sums that didn't sufficiently offset the cost or inconvenience.
At home, Burrows was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1973 and Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1987.
Here's a sampling of Burrows' sound on alto saxphone and flute:
Here's Love Is For The Very Young (also known as The Bad and the Beautiful)...
Love Is for the Very Young
Here's Esa Cara, with a Bud Shank feel...
Here's Ivory Moss...
Here's The Shade of the Mango Tree with Luiz Bonfá...
The Shade of the Mango Tree
And here's Burrows with the Australian jazz choir, Adelaide Connection, singing Stolen Moments...
A special thanks to Dennis Galloway.