Don Byas: Don Byas 1945 Volume 2

In the mid-1940s no tenor saxman played better than Don Byas. Here he appears with quartets including pianist Errol Garner and Johnny Guarnieri, a quintet containing trumpeter Little Benny Harris and, as a sideman, in the combos of Emmett Berry and Cyril Haynes. Outstanding are his dark-toned, sensuous ballad playing and dazzling up tempo work, on which his great chops, power and advanced harmonic can be heard. He’s somewhat less effective on medium tempos, partly because his playing doesn’t have a lot of rhythmic variety and also because he tends to take fewer chances on them than at rapid clips. The piquant muted solos by Harris, one of the first boppers, are among the few he recorded.