Thursday, 15 June 2017

95th 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 colour 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]) 

Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

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