The Don Byas Collection 1939-61
Catalogue Number: ADDCD3106
Don Byas was one of the most highly-regarded tenor sax players of his generation – he had a distinctive sound and a technique that enabled him to swing with effortless smoothness, yet with the dexterity and dynamics that enabled him to bridge the musical divide between swing and bebop. Hailed as one of the most exciting and brilliant new tenor stars during the early ‘40s’ he became ubiquitous in New York studios on sessions alongside the luminaries of the era, before visiting Europe with Don Redman and deciding to stay there. He became hugely popular with the large audience of jazz enthusiasts in France, where he performed and recorded for 15 years or more – his absence from the USA explains the lower profile his reputation enjoys alongside some of his exalted contemporaries. However, he was one of the great jazz stylists of the era, and this collection brings together examples of his work both with his own small groups and with other leaders’ ensembles over more than two decades, and featuring performances by some of the big names of jazz with whom he played.