Jaki Byard: St. Louis Blues


St. Louis Blues


Jaki Byard (piano)


Sunshine of My Soul (Fantasy OJCCD 1946-2)

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Jaki Byard (piano), David Izenzon (bass), Elvin Jones (drums, tympani).

Composed by W.C. Handy


Recorded: New York, NY; October 31, 1967


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

This recording brings together veterans of three of the most adventurous small groups of the 1960s. Byard had chaired the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop, Izenzon trekked with the Ornette Coleman Trio, and Jones wrote history in the John Coltrane Quartet. All three were freelancing near the end of the decade, and here they bring to bear their advanced techniques on a classic of the jazz repertoire. Byard delivers the melody in traditional fashion, plinking saloon-piano style, but as his solo develops, he trades jaunty ragtime syncopation for dizzying left-right rhythmic sweeps. The offbeat arrangementórolling, bending tympani; shuddering bowed bassócharms its way in, then haunts the way out. An affecting and meditative reading.

Reviewer: Joe Petrucelli

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