Jaki Byard: Blues au Gratin


Blues au Gratin


Jaki Byard (piano)


Empirical (Muse MCD6010)

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Jaki Byard (piano).

Composed by Jaki Byard


Recorded: New York, December 27, 1972


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

I have my students listen to this track. The humor in Jaki's music is always apparent, but he was not above putting a joke in his music. I remember seeing he and Greg Osby play a duet concert at the Brooklyn Museum, and as Jaki was taking a solo, an airplane flew overhead. He stopped, and stared at the airplane until it was out of sight and out of earshot. then he continued. He had the most wonderful laugh. Anyway, he really deconstructs this blues. I totally come out of his style of presentation. He lets his left hand really fly freely, before jumping into some heavy stride, before launching into a “Yankee Doodle Dandy” quote. The bit at the end sounds like Sam Rivers playing piano. He and Sam lived together for a while in Boston, and you can hear the similarity in their contrapuntal approach to the piano.

Reviewer: Jason Moran

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