Don Byas: Riffin' and Jivin'


Riffin' and Jivin'


Don Byas (tenor sax)


Savoy Jam Party: The Savoy Sessions (Savoy Jazz 268)

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Don Byas (tenor sax), Clyde Hart (piano), Slam Stewart (bass), Charlie Shavers (trumpet),

Jack “The Bear” Parker (drums)


Composed by Don Byas


Recorded: New York, July 28, 1944


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Given Charlie Parker's dominance, "bebop saxophone" instantly conjures alto, not tenor sax. Even the great Coleman Hawkins, who was sympathetic to bop and had the chops to play it, remained tethered to the Swing Era. As historian Ted Gioia points out, "The idea of modernism seemed to hold more appeal for Hawkins than its execution." One tenorman who made the transition was Don Byas. Eight years Hawk's junior, and stylistically more akin to Ben Webster, Byas here leads a quintet of Swing Era veterans in a brisk and boppish original thatóaside from Stewart's annoying hum-along arco-bass shtickówas cutting edge.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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