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A Night In Tunesia 

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Album Review

The first of two CDs documenting two nights at the Montmartre in Copenhagen, this release features the great tenor Don Byas in a quartet with pianist Bent Axen, bassist Niels Pederson (still a teenager) and drummer William Schiopffe. Alternating romps with ballads, Byas tears into such songs as "I'll Remember april," "Anthropology" and "A Night in Tunisia." He shows that, despite being overseas since 1946, he had lost nothing of his power and inventiveness. This release (along with Walkin') is easily recommended, among the best recordings from Byas' European years.


Born: 21 October 1912 in Muskogee, OK

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

One of the greatest of all tenor players, Don Byas' decision to move permanently to Europe in 1946 resulted in him being vastly underrated in jazz history books. His knowledge of chords rivalled Coleman Hawkins, and, due to their similarity in tones, Byas can be considered an extension of the elder tenor. He played with many top swing bands, including those of Lionel Hampton (1935), Buck Clayton (1936), Don Redman, Lucky Millinder, Andy Kirk (1939-1940), and most importantly Count Basie (1941-1943)....
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