|Tags:||jazz piano hard bop avant-garde jazz piano|
|Decades:||1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
|Links:||allmusic discogs official homepage VIAF wikidata wikipedia|
John Byard, 15 June 1922, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, d. 11 February 1999, New York City, New York, USA. A gifted multi-instrumentalist, Byard learned trumpet and piano as a child and later took up guitar, drums, trombone and tenor saxophone. In 1949 he played piano in Earl Bostics R&B band, and followed that with a spell as a solo pianist and then joined Herb Pomeroys big band as tenor player and occasional arranger. After the Pomeroy stint he returned to playing piano, this time with the Maynard Ferguson band. Throughout the 60s Byard was deeply involved in what was often a very adventurous musical scene, working with Eric Dolphy, Don Ellis, Booker Ervin, Charles Mingus, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and others. Dolphy helped Byard get a recording contract with Prestige Records, and was instrumental in introducing him to Mingus, with whom he recorded off an on for several years.
In the 70s Byard worked mostly solo, but found time...