Jaki Byard

The late Jaki Byard was, arguably, the most versatile pianist in jazz, though he also played trombone and was an excellent tenor saxophonist. Born in 1922, he grew up during the golden era, and while younger than Duke Ellington, he embraced, as had his predecessor, all of the changes the music went through, from its origins in New Orleans through the free improvisation era.

Byard would, in a single solo concert, reveal his truly awesome mastery of the aforementioned styles, as well as R&B, stride, swing, funk, blues, honky tonk, and the extreme arpeggios of Art Tatum. But Byard's style was completely his own, developed from his early days playing with Earl Bostic in the late '40s and early '50s. After leaving Bostic, he played with Herb Pomeroy and Maynard Ferguson until he won a spot in the legendary Charles Mingus band of 1962-1964 along with Eric Dolphy. He also recorded with...

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Albums featuring Jaki Byard

17 records