Jaki Byard

Out Front!

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Although Jaki Byard was a very eclectic pianist, this is a surprisingly conventional set. On most selections he is joined by bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Walter Perkins (in 1964) for fairly straight-ahead renditions of standards and obscurities. A few of the numbers add Booker Ervin on tenor and trumpeter Richard Williams, and of these by far the most original performance is the episodic "European Episode." Rounding off the set is a 1961 performance (with Byard on both alto and piano) of "When Sunny Gets Blue." It's fine music but one has to lower expectations a bit.

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