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Old Apr 30, 2010, 08:40 PM
Gavin Walker Gavin Walker is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
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Jazz Feature for May 3:Pianist Jaki Byard: "Live!"

First some news about last week's Jazz Show: Two unforseen glitches happened: (1) The Award winning Jazz Feature was not heard as my two pristeen copies of Terry Clarke's CD for some reason would not play on any of the station's players. It has played flawlessly on every other player that I've tried....my players at home, in my car and on several friend's players but not on CITR's high end players. Why? Who knows. So this week from the start of the program at 9pm, I will be playing Terry's album as an early Feature to make up for this. I have reconfiguered the CD and will play first the three tracks with Jim Hall, Joe Lovano, Don Thompson(bass) and Terry. The first will have Lovano, on tenor and the second will have the rich creamy sound of altoist Greg Osby and the third will bring back Lovano, again on tenor saxophone. Then we'll end the Clarke Feature with the Clarke Trio with Thompson on bass then piano and the amazing Phil Dwyer on tenor.....that is the band that we''ll hear at this summer's Jazz Festival. Please refer to my last post on the Clarke segment for a full overview on "It's About Time"....that post is dated April 26. Once again this Feature will be on right from the start of the show at 9pm, after the intro. The regularly scheduled Jazz Feature will start a little after 11pm as usual and is this: "Live!" The Jaki Byard Quartet with Joe Farrell (tenor and soprano saxophones and flute), George Tucker on bass and Alan Dawson on drums.

(2) The second glitch on last week's show is that it seems to be lost forever so there will not be a podcast. It can be downloaded but there is NO audio...... blank!.....a problem with the server has caused this and it's very unlikely that the show can be recovered.....so if you didn't catch it on air you won't be able to hear it via the podcast.


Jaki Byard was a formidable musician: he was an arranger, composer, saxophonist, guitarist, trombonist, trumpeter, bassist (when Jaki was with Mingus they would occasionally switch instruments) but it was on piano that he really made his mark. Jaki could play a whole history of piano from Harlem stride to boogie-woogie, through to avant guard and all stops between.

John Byard was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on June 15, 1922 and died and was possibly murdered, although the case has never been solved, on February 11,1999. He recorded prolifically on his own and as a sideman with Eric Dolphy, Sam Rivers, Roland Kirk and especially with Charles Mingus where Jaki was a huge part of some of Mingus' finest groups. Jaki went on to lead a big band called The Apollo Stompers and although he continued to perform, he also taught at The New England Conservatory, The Manhattan School of Music and at Jackie and Dollie McLean's school: The Hartt School of Music. His death and the circumstances surrounding it were a shock for the Jazz community.

The Jazz Feature this evening presents Jaki about a year after the fabled Mingus European tour in 1964. Here he is with his own group. Along with Jaki is the wonderful Joe Farrell (Joseph Carl Firrantello) who plays tenor and soprano saxophone and flute. Mr. Farrell is stunning in this band picking up every nuance from Byard's busy piano comping. George Tucker on bass is one of the real masters of keeping time with his huge sound and energy. George was a true disciple of Mingus and Oscar Pettiford and sad to say, passed away of a cereberal hemorrhage not long after these performances. Alan Dawson was one of the most influential drummers to come out of the Boston area and he and Jaki went back a long time. Alan was a great influence on Roy Haynes, Clifford Jarvis and Tony Williams, who were all products of the Boston scene. The band is loose and occasionally chaotic but in a good way.....just when things seem to fall apart, everything snaps back together giving this music great energy, swing and charm. It was recorded in a small club outside of Boston called "Lennie's-on-the-Turnpike" in West Peabody MA on April 15, 1965. Sad to say all these performers are gone. Tucker and Byard are noted above. Farrell died in 1986 at age 49 as a result of heavy drug use and cancer claimed Alan Dawson in 1996. The music is so much fun to hear and Jaki's shouted instructions and grunts of encouragement add to the music's energy. What is more is that this music is so memorable that I and I'm sure you will be elated as well, that the sound of this short-lived band has been preserved on disc.

Two Features tonight......right after the intro at 9pm with "It's About Time" by Terry Clarke and shortly after 11pm with Jaki Byard's Quartet: "LIve!"....whatever time we have in between will be a surprise that you're sure to enjoy. See you then..................................
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