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Song Samples / Digital Downloads
Jaki Byard always personified the past, present and future of jazz, wherever or whenever one might have been fortunate enough to experience his challenging ideas. An icon in the history of jazz, Jaki was Art Tatum, Earl Hines, Bud Powell, Ran Blake, Cecil Taylor and Bill Evans, all in one. Yet, like these fellow icons, he was his own uncompromising, unique, living entity. He isn’t a household name, but most likely his low profile is the result of an irresistible need to constantly reinvent himself, the sure sign of the consummate artist. Here is the third installment of HighNote’s Jaki Byard retrospective, Live at the Keystone Korner. As Byard introduces the selections on display is the irrepressible wit for which he was so well known. The selections themselves contain a few signature Byard specialities and a couple of songs not currently available by the pianist. HighNote’s collection of beautifully restored tapes leaves us with a rich history of Byard’s music, his life and times, allowing us to experience the intense struggle of a dedicated artist to keep his essence alive while still making us laugh with him along life’s corridor. There will never be anyone who can take his place.