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Here's Jaki / Hi-Fly

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Album Review

With 24-year-old, metro Detroit bassist Ron Carter and fellow Bostonian, veteran drummer Roy Haynes, pianist Byard has formed a partnership on this recording that effectively grasps modern jazz. This is no standard trio; they're a collective who romps through these seven selections with a surprise or more a minute. It's mainly due to Byard's refusal to sit still. Penning five of these not-so-easy pieces, Byard digs into a 5/4 modal calypso, rippling off minor incursions or stair-step delicate lines for the long jam "Cinco y Quatro." Part of an incomplete suite, "Mellow Septet" is an easy swinging blues much like "Freddie Freeloader," with Byard rambling in mid-section. He switches from Erroll Garner, elfish lines to a Fats Waller-type stride on "Garnerin' a Bit," replete with Carter's deep blue bass and Haynes' precision-stroked brushes. Of course, Byard loves to reharmonize and reinvent standards. "Giant Steps" is taken at half-tempo from the original, but the melody itself has twice as many notes, especially in the blizzard-like coda. A combo "Bess, You Is My Woman/It Ain't Necessarily So" starts with ruminating tom toms which introduce "Bess" as a sinister mistress, then depict her as an elegant sophisticate in ballad form. Haynes is knocked out by the woman, breaking out in bomb-like bursts twice during "So," and he is the fuse for a free-burning ending. Sometimes it seems as if these three are restrained, holding back the all-out power they possess. Shackles tossed aside, they can get it done like few other trios, and were they a working band during the next few decades, it would have been glorious to hear where they would take this format. "Here's Jaki" is a tip of the iceberg. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: 15 June 1922 in Worcester, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

The late Jaki Byard was, arguably, the most versatile pianist in jazz, though he also played trumpet and was an excellent tenor saxophonist. Born in 1922, he grew up during the golden era, and while younger than Duke Ellington, he embraced, as had his predecessor, all of the changes the music went through, from its origins in New Orleans through the free improvisation era. Byard would, in a single solo concert, reveal his truly awesome mastery of the aforementioned styles, as well as R&B, stride,...
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Top Albums and Songs by Jaki Byard

Here's Jaki / Hi-Fly, Jaki Byard
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  • 11,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 14 March 1961

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