422

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

By

Sign in to view read count
Jaki Byard: Sunshine of My Soul: Live at the Keystone Korner 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 highly eclectic, historical approach impacted a generation of influential jazz critics and writers.

But Byard was at his uninhibited best as a solo pianist and this CD unearths a sterling solo set recorded in 1978 at a San Francisco jazz club. It's too bad this isn't an LP disc, because it would be fun to be able to just drop a needle at random midway through, or among, different tracks. That exercise would be both fun and puzzling. Fun, because you might hear modern, swing, stride, boogie woogie or classical bravura—and all of it with a suggestion of tongue-in-cheek. Puzzling, because without knowing this was all one pianist, you'd think a dozen had contributed to the album—at least two of them Marx Brothers.

Byard was an encyclopedia of jazz piano styles, summoning them up at will, but always with his own unique, sometimes zany, sometimes dramatic, twist. The only style missing here is his Erroll Garner, only hinted at fleetingly, but something he could ride gloriously through a whole song from a guess-what's-coming intro to flowery finale. Here he hits all the other highlights, from the opening "Tribute to the Ticklers" homage to ragtime and stride rent party pianists to the closing "European Episodes," a variously striding and thundering pasquinade of the likes of Liszt and Chopin as imagined by Fats Waller. He makes a triumphant lyrical burlesque of "Besame Mucho" and a jazz curio masterpiece of Blood, Sweat & Tears' rock anthem "Spinning Wheel." And donït miss his ïMingus Medley," a ferocious tribute.


Track Listing: European Episode; Emily; Daydream; Seasons; Round Midnight; Sunshine of My Soul; God Bless the Child; Lush Life; Charles Mingus Medley: Fables Of Faubus/Peggy's Blue Skylight; Spinning Wheel; Besame Mucho; Two Different Worlds.

Personnel: Jaki Byard: piano.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: HighNote 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 "Petite Moutarde" CD/LP/Track Review Petite Moutarde
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "Sounds of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds of 3
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Sunday Night At The Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Night At The Vanguard
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "One For Marian: Celebrating Marian McPartland" CD/LP/Track Review One For Marian: Celebrating Marian McPartland
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 5, 2016
Read "Rough Enough" CD/LP/Track Review Rough Enough
by Nicola Negri
Published: August 7, 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!