Chris Byars Quartet


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An equally skilled player on both alto and tenor saxes, Chris Byars leads a tantalizing pianoless quartet, using regular collaborators John Mosca on trombone, bassist Ari Roland, and drummer Stefan Schatz. After an earlier tribute to composer Gigi Gryce, Byars continues with three more of his songs, adding octogenarian vibraphonist Teddy Charles for the enticing slow blues "Straight Ahead" (with its meandering theme, it is anything but), while the leader's father is added on English horn in the ensembles for the breezy take of Gryce's well-known bop vehicle "Minority." Byars' exotic "Indra" features Schatz on kanjira (an Indian tambourine-like instrument, but without the metal rim) is full of twists and turns in its infectious theme, and his majestic "Himalayan Sunrise" has a Far Eastern air (with the backgrounds provided by both Mosca and Byars, Sr. on English horn) and rich harmonies often found in '50s jazz. This is yet another fine date by Chris Byars.

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