Don Byas in Torino

Don Byas - Playing Everything there was to play.

Don Byas Quartet – Live In Torino – 1970 – Past Daily Downbeat

Don Byas in Torino
Don Byas – Playing Everything there was to play.

Don Byas Quartete – Live in Torino – Recorded at The Swing Club by RAI – January 1970 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Don Byas this weekend. Live in Torino and featuring his quartet, consisting of Franco D’Andrea, Piano – Dodo Goya, bass and Franco Mondini, drums. All recorded at The Swing Club by RAI and broadcast in January of 1970.

From Jazz Giants:

Don Byas was a masterful swing player with his own style, an advanced sense of harmony, and a confidence and adventurousness that was unmistakably his own, immediately recognizable. His sense of drama coupled with a brilliant use of dynamics and timbre, a deeply-felt romanticism – accomplished both the tenderest warmth and the most strident sting. He never picked up the rhythmic phrases, the lightning triplets, that are indigenous to bop. Yet Charlie Parker said of him that Byas was playing everything there was to play.

Byas’ style evolved in the lush, rococo, full-bodied tenor tradition of Coleman Hawkins, but his sound was unmistakably his own, immediately recognizable. A master of technique, he accomplished both the tenderest warmth and the most strident sting. His sense of drama coupled with a brilliant use of dynamics and timbre, a deeply-felt romanticism–which on occasion dripped into sentimentality, his worst pitfall–and an unsurpassable sense of swing made his improvisations unique.

One of the greatest of all tenor players, Don Byas’ decision to move permanently to Europe in 1946 resulted in him being vastly underrated in jazz history books. His knowledge of chords rivalled Coleman Hawkins, and, due to their similarity in tones, Byas can be considered an extension of the elder tenor.

Unfortunately not the complete set and it fades out during the last number, Spanish Mood – but a significant enough taste to get you familiar with the legendary Don Byas if you aren’t already – and nodding your head in approval if you are.

Crank it up and relax:




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