216

Chris Byars: Photos in Black, White and Gray

Ken Dryden By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Byars: Photos in Black, White and Gray Saxophonist Chris Byars has made a name for himself as one of many promising neo-bop musicians who perform on a regular basis at Smalls in New York City, while also appearing on a number of CDs (as either a sideman or leader) issued by the Smalls label. He has played since the age of seven and earned a Masters degree at the Manhattan School of Music at the age of twenty. For his third date as a leader, Byars is joined by several of the label's regulars, including pianist Sacha Perry, bassist Ari Roland and drummer Andy Watson.

A talented player, Byars is clearly finding his own voice on each of his three instruments (alto, tenor and soprano sax) and his program of originals is well-paced with a fair amount of variety. He shows a bit of playfulness in "Aquarian Epoch," while the brisk samba "Manhattan Valley" is another obvious highlight. Byars' robust tenor is on display in the pulsating piano-less setting of "A. T." (dedicated to the late drummer Art Taylor).

He then switches to soprano sax for the enticing ballad "Safe at Home." Perry, who studied with Barry Harris, is a solid bop pianist who pushes the leader with his driving accompaniment. Roland provides a firm foundation, his arco bass technique inviting comparison to recorded Paul Chambers. Watson is a refreshingly restrained drummer who effortlessly keeps a strong beat, though he is no slouch when he takes the opportunity to solo in "A. T.."


Track Listing: Aquarian Epoch; Milton; Safe at Home: Acoustic Phenomenon; Manhattan Valley; Cliff Diving; Riddle of the Sphinx; A. T.

Personnel: Chris Byars: alto, tenor and soprano saxophones; Sacha Perry: piano; Ari Roland: bass; Andy Watson: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Smalls Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "The Reasons Don't Change" CD/LP/Track Review The Reasons Don't Change
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Smooth Shake" CD/LP/Track Review Smooth Shake
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "What Doesn’t Kill You" CD/LP/Track Review What Doesn’t Kill You
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Umbra" CD/LP/Track Review Umbra
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Guitarist, Alone" CD/LP/Track Review Guitarist, Alone
by John Eyles
Published: August 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!