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Album Review

Charlie Parker: Be Bop Live

Read "Be Bop Live" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The name of the record label is ezz-thetics, which was also a composition by George Russell and an album of the same name (which featured Eric Dolphy) released by Riverside Records in 1961. Maybe a better moniker for the label is “Lest We Forget." Not that we could ever abandon Charlie Parker, but today when streaming services replace CDs and LPs, which also replaced 78s and live radio broadcasts (the streaming service of its day), Parker has the possibility of ...

Album Review

Charlie Parker Quintets: Be Bop Live

Read "Be Bop Live" reviewed by Stefano Merighi

Benvenuti a uno dei convegni di bellezza più eccitanti che il jazz abbia mai prodotto. Royal Roost, New York City, dicembre 1948-febbraio 1949, due mesi in cui Charlie “Bird" Parker teneva il cartellone nel club della Quarantasettesima, sconvolgendo il pubblico con alcune tra le sue esibizioni più brillanti. Il bop era già linguaggio assimilato ormai, ma l'eccezionalità di quelle serate confermava Parker come punta di diamante di tutta la cultura africana-americana, al di là delle correnti jazzistiche.Questo doppio ...

Album Review

Don Byas: Laura

Read "Laura" reviewed by Mike Neely

Don Byas was clearly a rising star when he walked away from fame. He was the first to hold the Lester Young chair in the Count Basie Band, before his 30th birthday. After two years with Basie he moved to New York City, where he played and recorded with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Coleman Hawkins. In 1946 Byas toured Europe and decided France was the place he wanted to live, and so he did.

Album Review

Don Byas: Don Byas: Complete American Small Group Recordings

Read "Don Byas: Complete American Small Group Recordings" reviewed by Mike Neely

Oklahoma born tenor saxophonist Don Byas moved easily between swing and bebop with an earthy, blues sound that brings to mind Coleman Hawkins but with a lightness of touch and rhythmic agility reminiscent of Lester Young. He successfully synthesized these two influences, in many ways updating them into the bebop era. Byas mastered the breathtaking tempos associated with Parker and Gillespie but avoided the angular, sharp phrasing- with the result that his up-tempo approach had a more rounded, swing solo ...

Album Review

Don Byas Quartet: Featuring Sir Charles Thompson

Read "Featuring Sir Charles Thompson" reviewed by Dave Nathan

Don Byas, believing he was never going to get the recognition he deserved in this country because of bigotry, left the United States for Europe and never looked back. Virtually all of his good work was done on the Continent. Usually cited as one of the first tenor saxophonist to take up Bop, Byas never let go of his romantic and swinging roots. This reissue of a free wheeling live performance demonstrates how successful Byas was in merging all these ...


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