Byard, Jaki (jazz) [John A., Jr. ]
- Andrew Jaffe
- , revised by Barry Kernfeld
[John A., Jr. ]
(b Worcester, MA, June 15, 1922; d New York, Feb 11, 1999). American pianist, tenor saxophonist, and composer. He grew up in a musical family and learned trumpet and piano as a child. During army service (1941–6) he played trombone, and for a period performed with Kenny Clarke; towards the end of his service he was stationed in Florida, where he became a mentor to the Adderley brothers. In Boston he played with and arranged for a rehearsal big band which included Joe Gordon and Sam Rivers. He then went to Canada, where he studied alto and bass saxophones and spent one and a half years as a member of a band in Quebec City. After touring and recording as a pianist with Earl Bostic (1949–50) he worked as an unaccompanied solo pianist at the Stable in Boston and as a sideman, with Charlie Mariano, in the house band at the Melody Inn in Lynn, Massachusetts; Herb Pomeroy joined the group towards the latter part of this engagement. Byard then served as tenor saxophone soloist in Pomeroy’s big band (...