Reese williams sonance project in two parts


  Ben Webster Source: Sooze Blues & Jazz Don Byas Source: All About Jazz Born in 1912 in Muskogee, Don Byas , tenor sax, left Oklahoma for Los Angeles in 1933, where he started to play professionally. His biggest early break was likely getting hired by Lionel Hampton to play in his orchestra at the Paradise Club in 1935. In 1937 Byas took off for New York City where he backed Ethel Waters . On May 27, 1938, Byas recorded several tracks with Timme Rosenkrantz and his Barrelhouse Barons: 'A Wee Bit of Swing', 'Is This to Be My Souvenir?', 'When Day Is Done' and 'The Song Is Ended'. In late '38 he laid tracks with Lucky Millinder : 'Ride, Ride, Ride' and 'Jazz Martini'. In 1939 Byas recorded 12 tracks in three sessions with Andy Kirk and his Clouds of Joy for the Decca label (one track below, though Byas isn't featured). More followed in 1940 before putting down tracks with Billie Holiday on September 12 that year, five takes of 'It's the Same Old Story', three of 'Practice Makes Perfect' et al. In addition to leading his own bands, Byas backed a long list of big names that can only be touched upon here: It was with Holiday that Byas first recorded with alto saxophonist, Don Redman . Redman would arrange for Count Basie in '41 while Byas was with the latter. Byas frist recorded with Redman 's own orchestra in NYC on January 29, 1946, 'Midnight Mood' leading four tracks. He last recorded with Redman on a tour to Europe in 1946. Hot Lips Page entered Byas' space in 1940. He first recorded with Byas in Pete Johnson 's band on November 11, yielding '627 Stomp'. A later session that day found the three recording in Page 's band: 'Lafayette' and 'South'. Byas and Page partnered in other bands together during the forties, Byas intemittently backing Page in the latter's own bands. They last recorded together on May 15, 1949, at the Paris Jazz Festival, yielding 'Blues' ('Farewell Blues'). Like Page , Byas first laid tracks with Pete Johnson on November 11, 1940 ('627 Stomp'), the two then joining Page on the same date to back the latter's band. They would lay tracks together with Big Joe Turner in 1940, play Carnegie Hall in '41, then record with Turner again and '45. Those Carnegie Hall titles were 'One O'Clock Jump' and 'Blues'. Tracks with Turner in '45 were 'SK Blues', 'Johnson and Turner Blues' and 'Watch That Jive'. Big artillery arrived in 1941 upon Byas replacing Lester Young in Count Basie's orchestra. His first tracks with Basie were recorded January 20: four takes of 'It's Square But It Rocks' and 'Ill Forget'. Basie was Byas' main engine into '43, they last recording together on November 23 for V-Disc: 'Yeah Man', 'Rhythm Man', 'Queen Mary III' and 'Let's Make Hay'. Another important figure in Byas' early days and throughout the forties was Dizzy Gillespie . First performing together at Minton's Playhouse in NYC, Byas there backed Gillespie in May on a take of 'Star Dust'. Chu Berry and Kenny Clarke were also in on that. Their last tracks together were during a tour of Europe in 1952, recording at the Schola Cantorum de Paris on April 11: 'She's Funny That Way' and 'Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams' among others. As with Page , Byas often partnered with Gillespie backing other bands, Byas also backing Gillespie numerously. Byas backed Cozy Cole during sessions from 1944 to 1946. He recorded with Duke Ellington for the first time on August 20 of '45, both working with Ben Webster and his Boys, that yielding 'The Romp' and 'Honeysuckle Rose'. Byas moved to Paris in 1946 (later Amsterdam), thus was already in Europe when Ellington toured there in 1950, again in '69, both trips to affect recordings together. Per above, 'The Romp' was Byas' initial recording with Ben Webster . He and Webster backed Page circa September 1945 on such as 'Corsicana' and 'Race Horse Mama Blues'. Byas would later back Page on the latter's tour to Europe in 1968. Byas' first recording with Johnny Hodges was 'Long Long Journey' on January 10, 1946, with Louis Armstrong and Ellington . He would back Hodges 's band in Paris on such as 'Last Legs Blues' on April 15, 1950, during an Ellington tour to Europe of which Hodges was one of Ellington 's large retinue. In 1949 Byas co-led sessions with Bill Coleman in Paris. The latter fifties saw sessions with Eddie Barclay in Paris in 1957-58, a recorded concert with Sarah Vaughan in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on April 7 of '58. Byas began leading bands while at Minton's Playhouse in NYC in 1941, his first of several recordings there were 'I Can't Give You Anything But Love' and 'Indiana'. Helen Humes joined him on 'Star Dust' and 'Exactly Like You'. 'Uptown' and 'Body and Soul' were also recorded at Minton's in '41. Running both orchestras and smaller ensembles throughout his career, Byas began recording as a leader continuously and extensively in 1944, beginning with what would later be pressed onto 'Savoy Party Jam' in 1976, 'Free and Easy' and 'Don's Idea' among those titles. Tom Lord's discography has Byas leading on 78 sessions, his final in early 1971 in Tokyo, bearing such as 'Ebb Tide' and 'Yesterday' with Norio Maeda and Nozomu Aoki arranging respectively. Among the highlights of Byas' career were tracks for 'Esquire' magazine's All-American Award Winners in 1946 (Information about that poll at Esquire .) Norman Granz liked him for Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) in 1960 in Stockholm, Sweden. Living in Europe during most of his career, Byas returned to the States only once, that to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1970. He passed away of lung cancer in 1972 in Amsterdam. All tracks below for 1938 are Byas with Timme Rosenkrantz and his Barrelhouse Barons.


Reese Williams Sonance Project In Two PartsReese Williams Sonance Project In Two Parts

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