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Boyd's Mellow Blues

PreviewBoyd'sBlues on November 24, 2011 13:07

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Welcome to a special preview of Boyd's Blues. Boyd's Mellow Blues is the first track from Boyd's Blues.

Boyd's Blues on iTunes



Hallwalls Store (scroll down to purchase a Boyd's Blue's CD):

For more information, see Boyd's press release:


November 8, 2011 (Buffalo, NY) – After nearly 80 years as a live musician and mainstay at the storied Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo, NY, Boyd Lee Dunlop will release his debut recording, Boyd’s Blues, on December 10, 2011. Boyd’s Blues swings with a divine cadence, the sound of the long-marinated dreams of a self-taught musician who learned to play upon discovering a discarded and broken piano on the streets of Buffalo, NY in the early 1930’s. Hailing from a musical family, Dunlop’s younger brother, famed jazz drummer Frankie Dunlop, recorded over 100 albums with jazz luminaries such as Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, and Charles Mingus. Boyd’s Blues features Boyd Lee Dunlop on piano, accompanied by Sabu Adeyola on bass and Virgil Day on drums. Dunlop will launch the CD with a special performance of the Boyd Dunlop Trio, co-presented by Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center and the Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo, NY, on December 10, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center at 341 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, NY.

Boyd Lee Dunlop was born in 1926 in Winston Salem, NC. Music brought him to Buffalo, NY as a child. His family followed his aunt who had taken a job as a violinist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Dunlop’s first piano was found outside his house on the corner, discarded with only half the keys working. As Dunlop remembers, “I asked my mother if I could bring it into the house. I thought it would be easy for me to play. If I could see the notes, I could play. What can I say, a year later we bought a piano, and here I am.”

Dunlop gave his younger brother, Frankie Dunlop, his first drum lesson. Dunlop recalls, “We used the thin wood from the back of a chair as our sticks.” Younger brother Frankie went on to find fame as a drummer, playing with Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Big Jay McNeely, Lionel Hampton, and many other jazz greats, and recording nearly one hundred sides during his career.

Boyd Lee Dunlop’s trajectory followed a different course. Until now he could be found only on one record, a blowsy rhythm and blues session from the late 50’s by Big Jay McNeely. For years Dunlop worked in Buffalo’s steel mills and rail yards, yet his calling was the piano and he played in the clubs around Buffalo, including the storied Colored Musicians Club.

Boyd’s Blues was born of a chance encounter between Dunlop and internationally-regarded photographer, Brendan Bannon. After becoming acquainted during Bannon’s visits to Dunlop’s nursing home about an unrelated photography project, Bannon started recording Dunlop on the broken-down, out-of-tune piano in the lobby. Hearing himself play, Dunlop told Bannon that he’d like to make a record. After hearing some of these first recordings, New York City producer Allen Farmelo flew into Buffalo and the record was made in one day-long session on a snowy winter day.

After the session Dunlop said, “I waited my whole life for this day and I was gonna do it if it killed me.” At the age of 85, Dunlop’s passion and inventiveness are finally captured on Boyd’s Blues, and these notes will continue to ring out, over and over.

Boyd is backed by bass player Sabu Adeyola and Virgil Day on drums. Adeloya, a musician, community activist, and educator, has played with Dexter Gordon, Charles Mingus, Randy Weston and Abbey Lincoln in his 35-year international career. Adeyola is working on a memoir of his life in the music. Drummer Virgil Day left Buffalo in the late 60s to tour with Charles Mingus and over the years played with Chu Nero and Freddie Hubbard among others. He also teaches percussion.

A smidgen of Art Tatum here, and a dash of Bud Powell there, hints of Jaki Byard sprinkled on top, sometimes in the space of one song. But where Tatum and Powell often spearheaded their songs with lightning fills and the elaborate technical prowess youth will cling to, Dunlop lays back in a pocket of blues, deftly knowing when to slow the pace, shifting from standards, to improvised embellishment, to “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and into his own distinctive phrases.

Boyd’s Blues may be purchased at the December 10, 2011 Boyd Dunlop Trio CD release performance at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center for $15.00. Following the CD release event, CDs will be available at the Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo, NY and iTunes.

The track listing for Boyd’s Blues is as follows:
Boyd's Mellow Blues
Boyd's Bowed Blues
Boyd's Swinging Blues
Boyd's Solo Flight
Boyd's Place
St. James Infirmary Blues
Boyd's "Funky " Blues
Boyd's Epic Journey
Boyd's End of the Day Blues

Special CD Release Performance:
Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center and the Colored Musician’s Club of Buffalo present
The Boyd Dunlop Trio
December 10, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.
at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202
$10 general, $5 members/students/seniors
CDs will be available for $15.00.

For further information, contact Brendan Bannon, Executive Producer, 716-308-4003,, or Allen Farmelo, Producer, 917-304-9149,



0 timed comments and 4 regular comments

  • johngeo
    johngeo on December 25, 2011 00:10

    Boyd's Mellow Blues arrived today just in time for Christmas. It was a present to myself this year. I really dig this music. Thanks, Boyd!

  • keepcalm1918
    keepcalm1918 on December 10, 2011 01:06

    Another of Buffalo's great treasures! This is definitely a "can't miss" event! I for one am very grateful to freelance photographer Brendan Bannon who uncovered "this gem" in the city's Delaware Nursing and Rehabilitation Center! And thank you to the New York Times for putting Boyd Lee Dunlop in our nation's spotlight! Unbelievable talent from Boyd's heart will be resounding through a lot of peoples' hearts tomorrow night!

  • Lindyhearne
    Lindyhearne on December 09, 2011 16:25

    Wonderful music. Sorry I can't be at the concert but it's a long way from Texas and I have a gig tomorrow night.

  • user1835905
    user1835905 on December 09, 2011 15:48

    I was excited to read about Boyd Lee Dunlop in the NYTimes this morning and Mr. Bannon's and Mr. Farmelo's involvement and support.
    Even more excited after playing the video and listening to part of Boyd's Blues accompanied by Mr. Day and Mr. Adeyola.
    My only disappointment is I'll have to wait to get the CD -- well, that, and the fact I'm in New York City and won't be able to got to the concert tomorrow night.

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