178

Don Byas Quartet: Featuring Sir Charles Thompson

By

Sign in to view read count
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 influences into his recognizable sax sound. Tracks like "Gone with the Wind", and "Darn That Dream" recall Byas' classic 1953 outing with Mary Lou Williams where he brought the ballad sax to a new level. At the same time, "Autumn Leaves" brings to the fore Byas' bop proclivities which he so eloquently waxed on his mid 1940 sides for Savoy. On a lengthy "Tenderly" - - more than seven minutes - - the sax man engages in imaginative improvisation. "But Not for Me" swings like crazy recalling Byas' days with the Count Basie Orch. when he took over Lester Young's chair.

Byas is joined on this set by another emigree, pianist Sir Charles Thompson. These two were together on that famous jazz highway, New York's 52nd Street, during the early days of Bop before departing for more appreciative shores. Thompson took a relatively simplistic, clean approach to the piano, leaving lots of space between the chords. This creates a favorable contrast with the sometimes busy sax of Byas. Occasional bumps in the road notwithstanding, this CD offers an hour of solid playing from two of jazz history's more neglected figures. The only complaint with this CD is that sometimes Thompson sounds as if he's playing the piano in the next room. Despite that flaw, this album is recommended.


Track Listing: Autumn Leaves; Darn That Dream; Bag's Groove; Tenderly; But Not for Me; Gone with the Wind; The Girl from Ipanema; Loverman; Stella by Starlight; Jumpin' at Basie's

Personnel: Don Byas - Tenor Sax; Sir Charles Thompson- Piano; Isla Eckinger - Bass; Peter Schmidlin -Drums

| Record Label: Storyville Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Amorandom" CD/LP/Track Review Amorandom
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 3, 2016
Read "Duet" CD/LP/Track Review Duet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Gorgeous Chaos" CD/LP/Track Review Gorgeous Chaos
by James Nadal
Published: May 2, 2016
Read "Circles and Landscapes" CD/LP/Track Review Circles and Landscapes
by John Eyles
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Illegal Crowns" CD/LP/Track Review Illegal Crowns
by John Sharpe
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Spark" CD/LP/Track Review Spark
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!