A treasure trove of lost material from Jaki Byard
– recorded during a time when he was at the height of his powers! The 7 tunes on this set were originally cut for the 2 volume series of live recordings Byard
did for Prestige in the mid 60s – and of those 7, only 1 was ever issued, and even then, never on CD. The work is quite striking – with Byard
on piano, leading a quartet that features a very young Joe Farrell on tenor, soprano, and flute, with crack rhythm by the team of George Tucker on bass and Alan Dawson on drums. All the tracks were recorded during one set at Lennie's in Massachusetts in 1965, and overall, the performances have a longer, more unbridled feel than most of Byard
's studio work of the time. The range of his work on piano is incredible – modern one moment, soulful another, and trad the next – and Farrell's playing is surprisingly strong for such an early point, especially on the longer tunes on the set, which really let him open up in exploratory solos. Titles include "Dolphy #1", "King David", "Twelve (alt)", "St Mark's Place Among The Sewers", and "Jaki Byard
's Ballad Medley".
(BMG music club pressing.)