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Tommy Flanagan / Jaki Byard: The Magic Of 2

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San Francisco's famed Keystone Korner shuttered its doors in 1983, but it's getting more press today than plenty of clubs that are still serving up jazz. In the past two years alone, a previously unreleased live recording of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard--Pinnacle (Resonance, 2011)--launched Resonance Records' Keystone Korner Live Discoveries series, photographer Kathy Sloane released Keystone Korner: Portrait Of A Jazz Club (IU Press, 2011) to great acclaim, and the club's owner--tireless jazz advocate Todd Barkan--started hosting/curating “Keystone Korner Nights" at ...


Tommy Flanagan / Jaki Byard: The Magic of 2

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One of San Francisco's most famous jazz venues, Keystone Korner, closed in 1983. It was a favorite venue of the top jazz players of the day, and several landmark live albums by pianists Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner, and saxophonists Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Stan Getz, resulted from shows taped inside its hallowed hall.The Magic of 2 showcases the piano talents of Tommy Flanagan (1930-2001) and Jaki Byard (1922-1999), live at the Keystone Korner in 1982, mixing duets ...


Jaki Byard: A Matter of Black and White

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Curious title for this album. Sure, it's a nice pun on the pianistic adventures included, but with the possible exception of Duke Ellington or Mary Lou Williams, there was hardly another jazz pianist of the mid-20th Century who saw more gray areas in the music's broad landscape than the late Jaki Byard. In his trio sessions for Prestige, his work with Charles Mingus, or in his late-period solo recitals, anything from James P. Johnson's charging stride figures to Earl Hines' ...


Jaki Byard: Sunshine of My Soul: Live at the Keystone Korner

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Pianist Jaki Byard (1922-1999) is the first one you hear on 2007's great vault discovery, the previously unheard Charles Mingus Sextet with Eric Dolphy, Cornell 1964 (Blue Note). A favorite of Mingus, who famously disliked most piano players, Byard played with a wide range of jazz musicians and was an acclaimed teacher whose students included Fred Hersch, DD Jackson and Jason Moran. And as the music/jazz teacher at the Music Critic Association/Smithsonian jazz fellows seminars/workshops in the early 1970s, his ...


Jaki Byard at the Chicago Jazz Festival - September 6, 1992

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I was introduced to the work of pianist Jaki Byard through his work as a sideman with Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus. Both his eclectic style and sense of humor appealed to me, so I soon found myself snapping up every record and CD in which he took part, even getting an opportunity to do liner notes for the long hidden tapes which made up the Jaki Byard Quartet with Joe Farrell: The Last From Lennie's , issued by Prestige ...


Rhapsody Films Double Feature: Elvin Jones and Jaki Byard

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Rhapsody Films Double Feature: Jaki Byard - Anything for Jazz (1980) Elvin Jones - Different Drummer (1979) Rhapsody Films 2004

As part of its ongoing reissue of classic jazz titles on DVD, Bruce Ricker pairs two documentaries - Ed Gray's '79 Elvin Jones film, Different Drummer , with Dan Algrant's '80 piece on pianist Jaki Byard, Anything for Jazz. An interesting pairing, given Jones' influential stature in the jazz world, and Byard's ...


The Jaki Byard Quartet with Joe Farrell: The Last From Lennie's

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If anyone wanted to record a history of jazz piano, it could have been done by Jaki Byard, an incredibly versatile pianist who could play virtually any style. However, Byard was too cagey to have approached a project of that magnitude, preferring to meld his influences within the space of a single composition. Utilizing a method that at times seemed as if Eubie Blake’s left hard and Cecil Taylor’s right hand were playing in Art Tatum’s style, Byard created a ...


Jaki Byard Quartet: The Last From Lennie's

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It's Party Time!

Prestige recorded pianist Jaki Byard's April 15, 1965 quartet gig at a suburban Boston nightclub called Lennie's on the Turnpike. Two LPs were subsequently produced from the session, Live! and Live! Vol. 2. Every track save one was subsequently issued on a single reissue CD entitled Live!. The brand new CD called The Last From Lennie's features the one track not included on the earlier reissue, plus unreleased recordings from the same evening.

Byard's Lennie's quartet features ...


Jaki Byard: Sunshine of My Soul

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Jaki Byard is one of only a few jazz musicians who can play comfortably in virtually any style. This has made him a valuable sideman for players as diverse as Maynard Ferguson and Charles Mingus, but has rendered his work as a leader as a tad all over the map, lacking any guiding force to tie the disparate elements together. Lacking a sense of focus, his solo work seems like a man trying to fit all his clothes into a ...


Jaki Byard: Solo/Strings

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Jazz history is rife with piano geniuses: Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Cecil Taylor, Herbie Nichols, and so many others. But aside from the monolithic figure of Art Tatum few if any have succeeded in blending virtuosity, imagination and a complete command of the instrument like Jaki Byard did. His senseless murder last year marked the demise of an instrumental intellect virtually unparalleled not just in Jazz, but in modern music as a whole. All that is left now are the ...