Chris Byars “The Music of Frank Strozier” (SCCD 31824)

SCCD 31824 Chris Byars “The Music of Frank Strozier” Chris Byars’s ongoing endeavour to re-discover and celebrate works by outstanding jazz composers of the past generations produced here another collection of gems by alto saxophonist Frank Strozier superbly arranged by Byars. Born in Memphis, TN in 1937 Frank Strozier grew up playing piano in the nourishing Memphis blues/jazz environment. Strozier established himself in New York as highly acclaimed alto sax player and composer in the 1960s, performing a. o. as a member of The Miles Davis Sextet. “The music of Duke Jordan is surely worthy of re-appraisal and when it is refurbished and re-interpreted as creatively as it is here … Continue reading

Freddie Redd "With Due Respect" (SCCD 31817)

SCCD 31817 Freddie Redd “With Due Respect” One of the handful of surviving original hard-boppers Freddie Redd is turning 88 this month. The famed composer of the 60’s iconic off-Broadway play The Connection Redd ’s recording career has been, however, sporadic despite his great talent. His trio album “Music For You” (SCCD 31796) in 2014, the first in almost three decades rectified this trend following the precursory 2012 release of “Music Forever” (SCCD 31743) a tribute album to Redd’s music by altoist Chris Byars’ Octet. On this new album Redd presides over a sextet of much younger generations as performer and composer of old and new compositions embodied here to … Continue reading

Chris Byars Sextet – Two Fives (SCCD 31807)

SCCD 31807 Chris Byars Sextet “Two Fives” Award-winning saxophonist/composer CHRIS BYARS divides his artistic focus between development of original material and studying the vast repertoire of jazz composers of the 20th century. During the past five years under SteepleChase label Chris Byars released two albums of his own materials and four albums paying tribute to unsung heroes of bebop compositions of 40s and 50s: Gigi Gryce, Lucky Thompson, Freddie Redd and Duke Jordan respectively. On this new album Byars combines the result of his research into historical compositions and his own creation. “Lucky Strikes Again coaxes a huge sound out of five horns, a credit to the quality of the … Continue reading

Chris Byars – The Music Of Duke Jordan (SCCD 31787)

SCCD 31787 Chris Byars “The Music Of Duke Jordan” Award-winning saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator Chris Byars, apart from his focus on composing his own music, has been highly interested in studying the vast repertoire of jazz composers of the 20th century. His endeavour has so far culminated in Blue Lights (SCCD31662) – music of Gigi Gryce, Lucky Strikes Again (SCCD 31713) – music of Lucky Thompson, Music Forever (SCCD 31743) – music of Freddie Redd. Now to add to this impressive listing Chris Byars compiled 11 gems from the book of Duke Jordan (1922 – 2006) who was one of the early and most original bebop pianists. Israeli-born singer … Continue reading

Chris Byars – Jasmine Flower (SCCD 31773)

SCCD 31773 Chris Byars “Jasmine Flower” Chris Byars saxophone/composer/arranger leads his group in various formats including a quintet as in this album with guest instrumentalists (his father James Byars on English horn and his fiancée Mine Sadrazam on piano). Chris could be dubbed “Jazz Ambassador” conducting cultural exchange programs in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Balkans for the U.S. Department of State since 2007. While his previous three albums were highly creative tributaries to jazz’s true heroes: Freddie Redd, Lucky Thompson and Gigi Gryce, this new album is a superb collection of Chris’s original compositions many of which are depicting diverse cultures of the world. “… Byars’ treatment … Continue reading

Chris Byars – Music For Forever (SCCD 31743)

Following the successful tribute album to Lucky Thompson’s music “Lucky Strikes Again” Chris Byars and his 8-piece band dedicate this latest album to the music of Freddie Redd. Chris Byars notes, " Everything he has written is meaningful and has his own special perspective on beauty. I feel that this was an overdue tribute to an admirable artist, who continues to perform and write with great spirit at the age of 83 ." “ Lucky Strikes Again coaxes a huge sound out of five horns, a credit to the quality of the arrangements. They're musically expansive, getting the most out of the instruments at hand, but are also compact and … Continue reading

Chris Byars – Lucky Strikes Again (SCCD 31713)

Chris Byars-saxophone/composer/arranger in continuing his pursuit of tapping into the rich musical legacy of unsung heroes of jazz pays tribute this time to Lucky Thompson. “Chris Byars, who leads an octet through the enclosed tribute to the compositional achievements of Thompson, studied Lucky's canon with the same love and understanding that he has brought to the music of Gigi Gryce, Teddy Charles and Jimmy Cleveland…… I hoped that Lucky's spirit was hearing it too, for he had good reason to feel pride in this creative music.” (Mark Gardner – from the linernotes) 1. Theme (Lucky Thompson)2. Munsoon (Lucky Thompson)3. Old Reliable (Lucky Thompson)4. Passionately Yours (Lucky Thompson)5. Tiptop (Mark Lopeman)6. … Continue reading

Chris Byars – Bop-ography (SCCD 31686)

Following up the intriguing 2009 SteepleChase debut album “Blue Light” (SCCD 31662) shedding lights on compositions of Gigi Gryce, saxophonist/composer Chris Byars with his quintet features legendary vibraphonist Teddy Charles in an attractive program including his own compositions together with works by Donald Byrd and a unheard composition by Gigi Gryce. . 1. Festival (George Wallington)2. Straight Ahead (Gigi Gryce)3. Lost Love (Gigi Gryce)4. Himalayan Sunrise (Chris Byars)5. Nature Boy (Eden Ahbez)6. Minority (Gigi Gryce)7. Indra (Chris Byars)8. Bop-ography (Chris Byars) UPC/EAN: 716043168620 … Continue reading

Chris Byars – Blue Lights (SCCD 31662)

“…there is a special world of meticulous jazz composition envisaged by the creative sensibility of Gigi Gryce to be re-discovered in Blue Lights . And the interpretation of those works by Chris Byars and his men is to be applauded and cherished. They are both authentic and inspired.” (Mark Gardner – from the linernotes) 1. Lucky Swing (Chris Byars)2. Sans Souci (Gigi Gryce)3. Al-Ghashiyah (Gigi Gryce)4. The Infant Song (Gigi Gryce)5. Baba's Blues (Gigi Gryce)6. Shabozz (Gigi Gryce)7. Blue Lights (Gigi Gryce)8. Anne Marie (Gigi Gryce) UPC/EAN: 716043166220 … Continue reading

Loren Stillman, Kris Allen, Chris Byars – Jam Session Vol. 15 (SCCD 31581)

The release of Jam Session Vol 15 featuring three young elites of alto sax coincides aptly with the 50 th anniversary year of Charlie Parker’s death. “… Jamming … is actually a creative igniter, serving to raise everyone’s game, while keeping a sense of perspective and respect for the music and each man’s place within it. … ” (Mark Gardner) 1. You Know How It Is (Chris Byars)2. Apropos (Andy Laverne)3. Steeplechase (Charlie Parker)4. I Got It Good And That Ain't Bad (Andy Laverne)5. You've Changed (Fischer/Carey)6. Autumn Nocturne (Josef Myrow)7. Prisoner Of Love (Russ Columbo/Clarence Gaskill)8. Hydroponic (Andy Laverne)9. Blues For Alice (Charlie Parker) UPC/EAN: 716043158126 … Continue reading