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Jaki Byard


A musician that has spanned the generations of Jazz is Jaki Byard. Jaki Byard was born John Arthur Byard, Jr. on June 15, 1922 in Worcester, Massachusetts. His father was a member of the marching hands at the turn of the 20th century and played the trombone. His mother played the piano for the African Methodist Episcopalian Zion Church (AME). His maternal grandmother played the piano for the silent picture shows (visual movies without sound before "talking movies" were invented). It was on that piano that Jaki began his musical odyssey.

When he was 8 years old, he started taking piano lessons from a piano teacher named Grace Johnson. The swing rhythm of the time and the lure of the big bands inspired Jaki throughout most of his career. At the age of 16, he played his first professional engagement. During WW II, Jaki was drafted into the army, but with luck and circumstance, he was able to join the army along with Earl Bostic, with whom he would later form a musical alliance with.


Article: Album Review

اسم  [ism]: Maua

Read "Maua" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Where would the world be without the clang and the clamor of sensory heightened free-jazz blowing purposeful and wild throughout the realm and surrounding tenements? This is an unsung understanding understood by fellow wayfarers, handed down by the elders and experienced by all who listen. Pianist Pat Thomas understands all this and reassures you ...


Article: Album Review

Barry Altschul, David Izenson, Perry Robinson: Stop Time: Live At Prince Street, 1978

Read "Stop Time:  Live At Prince Street, 1978" reviewed by John Sharpe

If at all familiar to modern day listeners, David Izenzon's name is most likely to ring a bell for his bass wizardry on Ornette Coleman's two-volume At The Golden Circle Stockholm (Blue Note, 1965). But the archive recording Stop Time is a reminder of just what listeners are missing. Izenson remained active well after his sojourn ...


Outward Bound to Out to Lunch Revisited

Label: Ezz-thetics
Released: 2023
Track listing: G.W.; Green Dolphin Street; Les; 246: Glad to Be Unhappy; Miss Toni; Hat and Beard; Something Sweet, Something Tender; Gazzelloni: Out to Lunch; Straight Up and Down.


Article: Interview

Wayne Escoffery: Still Forging Ahead

Read "Wayne Escoffery: Still Forging Ahead" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Saxophonist Wayne Escoffery has a long, ongoing association with the Mingus Big Band organization, including a Grammy for Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard (Jazz Workshop, Inc., Sue Mingus Music, 2010). His career also includes a special relationship with trumpeter Tom Harrell, with whom he has played for many years. All that is enough to ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Pianists and More Pianists

Read "Pianists and More Pianists" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

This episode features pianists from many corners of the jazz world as soloists and bandleaders. The players heard include Vijay Iyer, Jaki Byard, Duke Ellington, Lafayette Gilchrist, and Martin Bejerano. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait Till I Get Home" from The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill & Air (Mosaic) ...


Article: Album Review

Eric Dolphy: Outward Bound To Out To Lunch Revisited

Read "Outward Bound To Out To Lunch Revisited" reviewed by John Eyles

Ask any jazz aficionado for their favourite jazz albums of the '60s and the chances are that, alongside such decade-defining choices as Jimmy Giuffre's Free Fall (Columbia, 1963), John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (Impulse, 1965), Andrew Hill's Point of Departure (Blue Note, 1965) and Albert Ayler's Spiritual Unity (ESP, 1965), they will select Eric Dolphy's Out ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Youn Sun Nah, Herb Geller, Mark Masters and More

Read "Youn Sun Nah, Herb Geller, Mark Masters and More" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

This show features, among other things, vocals from Youn Sun Nah and Susanne Abbuehl, saxophone from Herb Geller and Melissa Aldana, and big band work from Mark Masters and William Parker. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait To Get Back Home" from The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill & Air ...


Article: Year in Review

2022: The Year in Jazz

Read "2022: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

Current events impacted the jazz world in significant ways throughout 2022. In its third year, the coronavirus pandemic continued to lurk in some settings, while others recovered in robust fashion. Russia's war on Ukraine was felt by musicians and triggered an outpouring of support for its victims. Initiatives to ensure greater equity in jazz advanced. The ...


Article: Book Review

The Sam Rivers Sessionography: A Work in Progress

Read "The Sam Rivers Sessionography: A Work in Progress" reviewed by Mike Chamberlain

The Sam Rivers Sessionography: A Work in Progress Rick Lopez 768 Pages ISBN: # 9 780578 948713 The Vortex2022 Twenty-five years in the making, Rick Lopez's 768-page opus The Sam Rivers Sessionography: A Work in Progress is a dizzying, stunning achievement of research and scholarship that stands as a ...


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