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Don Byas

Don Byas was one of the most respected and recorded tenor players of the 1940’s. In that fruitful period he had few peers in the the area of prolific productivity. Byas was a masterful swing player with his own style, an advanced sense of harmony, and a confidence and adventurousness that found him hanging around the beboppers and asking to play. He held his own and did so while insistently remaining himself: he never picked up the rhythmic phrases, the lightning triplets, which are indigenous to bop. Yet Charlie Parker said of him that Byas was playing everything there was to play. Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in 1912, he played alto as a teenager, subbing in territorial bands like Bennie Moten's and Walter Page's Blue Devils

ARTICLE: RADIO

Trumpets? Yes (And More)

Read "Trumpets? Yes (And More)" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Lots of trumpeters this week (mostly 21st century music): Marcus Printup, Ron Horton, Roy Hargrove, Farnell Newton, along with Buck Clayton (and Buddy Tate) plus Emmett Berry (and Don Byas). Big band (a bit off center) from Marty Ehrlich and Django Bates and the Charlie Parker centennial (Koko, including the 'famous' breakdown) and our chronological Sonny ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Houston Person: I'm Just a Lucky So and So

Read "I'm Just a Lucky So and So" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Perhaps tenor saxophonist Houston Person is indeed A Lucky So and So, as he professes on his newly recorded album of that name, but it has taken far more than luck to sustain a long and successful career that spans more than half a century and numbers more than sixty albums as leader of his own ...

Take Five With Greg Burk

Read "Take Five With Greg Burk" reviewed by Greg Burk

About Greg Burk Following his acclaimed 2016 release Clean Spring on SteepleChase Records, American pianist and composer Greg Burk returns with solo piano As A River--his 12th and most lyrical album to date. The son of classical musicians, Burk spent his formative years on the jny: Detroit jazz scene, followed by studies ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Liebman: On the Corner Live!

Read "On the Corner Live!" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

When the Miles Davis album On the Corner (Columbia, 1972) was released, Davis had already begun to engage in electronic instrumentation and jazz fusion with soon to be revered recordings: In A Silent Way (Columbia, 1969), Bitch's Brew (Columbia, 1970) and Jack Johnson (Columbia, 1971). On the Corner, however, was so experimental and funky that it ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Big in Japan: A History of Jazz in the Land of the Rising Sun, Part 1

Read "Big in Japan: A History of Jazz in the Land of the Rising Sun, Part 1" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Part 1 | Part 2The music market in Japan--second only to the U.S. in terms of revenue--generates more than two-billion dollars in sales annually. Enthusiasts and collectors of jazz recordings had long ago discovered that Japan's robust music scene, and the now virtual accessibility to products have made the country a go-to resource for ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part II

Read "Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part II" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Part 1 | Part 2 Part 1 of Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands looked at the roots, drivers and challenges of the travelling groups who brought jazz music to the non-urban areas of the Southern Plains, through one-night-stands, in often impromptu venues. A black phenomenon, often misappropriated by white musicians, promoters, ...

ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Six on Cellar Live

Read "Six on Cellar Live" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Cory Weeds' record label Cellar Live has become a welcome home to straight-ahead mainstream jazz in the same way that Arbors Records has been the beacon for traditional jazz and swing. Think Norman Granz's Pablo label tele-transported deep into the 21st Century. Six recent releases illuminate Cellar Live's importance to jazz as a whole and to ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Culture Clubs: Part IV: When Jazz Met Europe

Read "Culture Clubs: Part IV: When Jazz Met Europe" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The Geography of Jazz--When Jazz Met Europe In 2004 Maureen Anderson, a researcher at Illinois State University contributed a dissertation to the journal, African American Review, titled The White Reception of Jazz in America. Ostensibly, her article deals with stories published in high profile periodicals and journals from 1917 and into the 1930s, written by white ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Culture Clubs: A History of the U.S. Jazz Clubs, Part II: New York

Read "Culture Clubs: A History of the U.S. Jazz Clubs, Part II: New York" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Jazz didn't abandon jny: Chicago but its further development only began to take on a distinct personality in the 1960s. By the late 1920s, the next phase of the jazz scene had shifted from Chicago to New York though, initially, there was no red carpet rolled out. As jazz bands made their way to New York ...


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