Top 10 Favorite Jaki Byard tracks

I missed pianist Jaki Byard’s centennial by a few days (oh, life) but have been thinking a lot about his legacy and the influence it has had on me and beyond. While comfortable in both experimental and conventional jazz settings, his organic capacity to meld the two (and the worlds between) was particularly groundbreaking. Sometimes this would manifest from one tune to another, sometimes from one moment to another within the same tune, and sometimes all coming together at once. This made him difficult to categorize, and as tends to be the case, one could say it hindered his public profile and led to him generally being underrepresented in the literal and figurative history books.

Continue Reading