michel1969

DON BYAS

22 posts in this topic

I'd like to talk about Don Byas (1912-1972), IMO one of the very top tenor players in the whole jazz history. It is well known, and often noted than Don, who made almost all if its carrier in Europe, never got the attention he deserved, because of that. All of his recordings are extraordinary. His sound is fantastic (both wild and mild, unique, his technic was fabulous. The harmonical richness of his choruses is outstanding : Don never played any gimmick, any used effect, everything from his horn is new. I have rarely spent a day without him....I suggest everyone to buy his 1945-1946 (on classic records) recordings and the two CD's from the beginning of the French era (laura / En ce temps là 1946 - 1952)) : of course Don has a far superior level compared to its colleagues, but they do a fine job, and let him most of the space. So Don' improvisations are all extraordinary.

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Michel, I totally agree! I love the way Byas was able to effortlessly move from standards/ballads to Bop/Hard bop. Sure many other Tenors did so, but not as seamlessly. I really enjoy the French sides!! Don Byas!! :tup:tup

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There is a video ..documentary.. of Don Byas, a sort of ''Mix'' of music, talks, interviews, comments..

We see Thad Jones+Mel Lewis big band live , then drummer… Jo Jones.. and many others,.

Ciao fabio .,.-

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Don Byas is fantastic. I think the most fascinating recordings are those from the 60´s for Black Lion, with a fantastic danish rhythm section and Don playing vintage bop standards, but the greatest thing is, he didn´t need to jump on the bop and change his style, he could hold his own and play stuff like "Night in Tunisia", "Anthropology" in a very personal manner.

And the stuff he made with Bud Powell 1961, fantastic, same again with Bud in 1963 on Americans in Paris, or some obscure danish live recordings Don together with Brew Moore .

But I also like very very much his Savoy stuff from 44 to 46.

In general I like most those 40´s recordings , the Savoys, and the sides with Diz , and the 60´s recordings. I don´t have much from the 50´s , one is called Don Byas and the Girls, it is fine, but doesn´t fascinate me the same way like the fantastic 1963 "Anthropology".....

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Bravoo.., Bravooo…!!. I do like every words of this your comment about the 'sax-style' of Don Byas..

Yes.,!! Don Byas could play with a pleasant sound+tone the so ''called'' Be-Bop-tunes without ''play'' those ..hard-notes/music/scales.. like the real ''hard-boppes sax'' used to play,.!!. We can say that Don Bays 's-style was a bit close to the other ''main+great' sax->Lester Young,.!!,.-

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I do like Byas on this CD:

Image result for ben webster meets don byas

And that recent release from the Nederlands Jazz Archief label:

R-9712399-1485176331-8978.jpeg.jpg

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Groovin' High is superb. Even the announcements are entertaining.

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I only have a vinyle-L.P.. where Don Byas plays the music of… 'Cannonball' Addelrley..'s.,but the strange things is no one tune played comes from the 'Adderley 's-tunes+book,.?!,.-

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7 hours ago, Fabio Baglioni said:

I only have a vinyle-L.P.. where Don Byas plays the music of… 'Cannonball' Addelrley..'s.,but the strange things is no one tune played comes from the 'Adderley 's-tunes+book,.?!,.-

Oh, you are referring to the Don Byas-Bud Powell LP "A Tribute to Cannonball" ??? Indeed, this has no Adderly Tunes, it´s titled that way because it was "produced by Cannonball Adderly". This one was made in Paris in late 1961, but wasn´t released at that time. I think it was released at late as 1979 when I purchased it myself.
The Tunes, if I remember right is: Just One of those Things, Cherokee, All The Things You Are, Good Bait, I Remember Clifford, Jackie my little Cat, Myth....am I right ?

Must spin that again.....

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1 hour ago, Gheorghe said:

Oh, you are referring to the Don Byas-Bud Powell LP "A Tribute to Cannonball" ??? Indeed, this has no Adderly Tunes, it´s titled that way because it was "produced by Cannonball Adderly". This one was made in Paris in late 1961, but wasn´t released at that time. I think it was released at late as 1979 when I purchased it myself.
The Tunes, if I remember right is: Just One of those Things, Cherokee, All The Things You Are, Good Bait, I Remember Clifford, Jackie my little Cat, Myth....am I right ?

Must spin that again.....

This is definitely a little gem ....

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Thanks for sharing this great Newport Performance with us, just wonderful, I enjoyed it so much.

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., Well, about 'sax - jazzman..: Don  Byas  there is this ''RARE' Video - documentatry..:

 -dvd-1046,1-DON BYAS,sax ..Tv Documentary '''Home-coming''..Talks , Interviews, Music, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis , Jo  Jones,dr 4t..Sir.Roland Hanna,p.,Gillespie, Ellington. time..53'.minutes..-
 ............................................................

- ,, -

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2 hours ago, Fabio Baglioni said:

., Well, about 'sax - jazzman..: Don  Byas  there is this ''RARE' Video - documentatry..:

 -dvd-1046,1-DON BYAS,sax ..Tv Documentary '''Home-coming''..Talks , Interviews, Music, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis , Jo  Jones,dr 4t..Sir.Roland Hanna,p.,Gillespie, Ellington. time..53'.minutes..-
 ............................................................

- ,, -

I think I saw that TV Documentary, and I saw some video of Don Byas fishing, a hobby he shares with me ;)

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...Hààhàhàhà..!? Yes , Yes.,!!.  it is true about the  'fishing' hobby 's,.!!. Infact that 'Video - documentary' begins showing Don Byas just fishing somewhere in a river,.!!,. -

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Here's part of the abovementioned documentary:

 

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 Dear Mr . 'Eke BBB' , you have only posted a 'short part' of the Video - documentary , posted in the 'home-pages of..: YouTube.. Look, my ,DVD's - copy  is ..more time long.., about ,53'.,minutes,.-

Well for all I may-know , not so many Live video concerts,  or  Live  jazz festivals  show Mr.'sax' Don Byas.., so it 's quite ''rare'' to see him,,-

-dvd-1046,1-DON BYAS,sax ..Tv Documentary '''Home-coming''..Talks , Interviews, Music, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis , Jo  Jones,dr 4t..Sir.Roland Hanna,p.,Gillespie, Ellington. time..53'.minutes..-
 ....................................

........................

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Jazz Archives 35, Ben and the Boys, has a track with Ben, Dexter Gordon at his most Prezish, and Byas. As the liner notes state, Byas cuts everyone. The fidelity is a bit rough but defined worth searching out.

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44 minutes ago, Tom in RI said:

Jazz Archives 35, Ben and the Boys, has a track with Ben, Dexter Gordon at his most Prezish, and Byas. As the liner notes state, Byas cuts everyone. The fidelity is a bit rough but definitely worth searching out.

If you actually refer to the tune where "Byas cuts everyone", you're talking about "The Romp", right? (But according to the liner notes Dexter Gordon isn't on that one but only on the subsequent Honeysuckle Rose).
Those two tunes (Honeysuckle rose, in particular) had me spellbound for years .. I caught them on a radio jazz show in the very early 80s and was just flattened. Luckily I managed to record both on cassette tape off my radio but IIRC the radio man indicated neither the exact source (record) nor the title of what is listed as "The Romp" but highlighted the wild opener by Stuff Smith and the sax cutting contest that followed. It took me about 15 years until I finally found a copy of JA 35 with these two long-searched-for tracks on it.

 

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Yes Steve, you are correct (just grabbed the LP from the stacks). The notes refer specifically to Byas cutting everyone on The Romp, I’d say he does it again on Honeysuckle Rose which does include a pretty young Dexter from 1945.

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