Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Don Byas: Don Byas 1945

Nobody played better tenor sax in the mid-1940s than Don Byas. Byas’ running of chord changes and big tone indicated his roots in Coleman Hawkins’ style, but Art Tatum also marked him, as Don’s use of substitute chords indicates. Harmonically, he was as advanced as the boppers.

On the opening four tracks here, in fact, Byas and Dizzy Gillespie play together in vocalist Albinia Jones’ band. Other selections find Don in a quintet with Buck Clayton and quartets with Erroll Garner or Johnny Guarnieri. The front line on the final three cuts contains two tenors, an alto and trumpet. Vocalist Ruby Blakey appears on one of these.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published