Named for his family members, several movements from Jaki Byard’s "Family Suite" relate the deep affection the pianist harbored for his home and family. Byard made his decision early on in his career to work close to home rather than travel. Recorded in 1978, long out of print, but reissued last month for the first time on compact disc, Byard’s Family Man offers a glimpse toward several of the many styles this pianist espoused during his 60-year career as teacher/composer/performer.
Byard wrote the album’s opening tune as a bouncing Major Holley-type swinger. The bassist’s wordless vocals - in unison with bowed upright bass - create a lovely pattern that introduces the session’s family orientation. Two Ellington and Strayhorn piano trio ballads follow that with a setting made for just sitting around the house with nothing else to do on a rainy day. "L.H. Gatewalk" moves from slow rag to traditional stride piano while "Ballad to Louise," housed in a vibraphone/tenor saxophone duet, returns to emotional contemplation. The remainder of the session opts for the piano trio to paint excerpts from Byard’s "Family Suite." Inspirational in both its intentions and methods, Byard’s Family Man makes a welcome addition to the jazz collection.
Track Listing: Just Rollin
Personnel: Jaki Byard- piano, tenor saxophone on "Ballad to Louise," alto saxophone on "Prelude #16 (Time Machine);" Major Holley- bass, Fender bass on "Garr," tuba on "L.H. Gatewalk Rag;" Warren Smith- drums, tympani on "Emil," vibraphone on "Ballad to Louise;" J.R. Mitchell- drums on "Prelude #16," "Gaeta," "Garr" and "John Arthur."
I love jazz because it expresses things so deep that I can't transform in words.
I met John Pizzarelli.
The best show I ever attended was MASP in São Paulo Brazil.
The first jazz record I bought was a Baby Dodds CD.
My heroes on drums: Papa Jo Jones, Sid Catlett, Gene Krupa, Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Ray Bauduc, Vernell Fournier,
Shelly Manne, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Morello, Daniel Humair, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Carr, Buddy Rich, Sam Woodyard, Cozy Cole,
Sonny Greer, Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, Tony Sbarbaro, Vic Berton, Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Rubens Barsotti.
My heroes in jazz: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson,
Barney Kessel, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Jelly Roll Morton.