Jaki Byard

To Them-To Us

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AllMusic Review by

Jaki Byard was captured alone in a Milan studio for this delightful session. As usual, he displays his formidable technique with an ever-present twinkle of humor. Everything from early jazz ("Tin Roof Blues") to classic renditions of Ellington masterpieces (an introspective "Solitude" and a rollicking "Caravan") to the surprisingly enjoyable arrangement of the usually saccharine Chuck Mangione hit "Land of Make Believe" is worth repeated hearings. Another surprise is his hilarious but solid reworking of another pop smash, "Ode to Billie Joe." Several strong Byard originals round out this highly recommended CD.

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