Wednesday, 15 June 2016

94th birthday of Jaki Byard

Born 15 June 1922, Worcester, Mass, US)
Pianist, pianists’ pianist whose “encyclopaedic knowledge” (to quote the recurring phrase from many a critic) of the jazz piano repertoire ensures he ranges effortlessly in his solo take from the stride traditions of the 1920s-1930s (James Johnson, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Fats Waller) to the late 1940s/early 1950s revolutionary breakthroughs of Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols and the later flights of Cecil Taylor but still sounding Jaki Byard, academic, indelible footprints on the Charles Mingus jazz workshop – particularly the classic sextet: Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, flute; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums
(Charles Mingus Sextet – with Eric Dolphy, Cornell University 1964, “Orange was the color of her dress, then blue silk” [personnel: Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Dolphy, bass clarinet; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: live, Cornell University, 18 March 1964]) 

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