When I put on "Truth Raised Twice", images immediately came to mind of the saxophonists Don Byas and Ben Webster. Both lived in the Netherlands for years, hardly anyone noticed them and they hardly played in our country. We regretted that a lot later. Pianist Warren Byrd has been living in Amsterdam just as unnoticed for years. Not that Byrd is just as important to jazz as Byas or Webster, certainly not, but this CD shows that we have a great jazz pianist in our country that we seldom or never hear, especially in the trio format in which his playing shines. The CD was already recorded in 1999 and has not had a chance to enter the market for over twenty years. Now it will be launched on May 15, 2020. Warren Byrd (1965) is from Hartford, Connecticut, took some piano lessons in church but is primarily self-taught. Byrd, who nowadays plays a lot with his partner trumpeter Saskia Laroo, will have developed further in those twenty years, but on this CD he is a rocking swinging bebop pianist. The CD contains two songs by Thelonious Monk, but it is also clear from the other songs that Monk has been his great inspiration. Byrd is less angular and romantic than Monk, and certainly not an epigone. More influences can be heard. Randy Weston, McCoy Tyner and in the song "Armageddon" Cecil Taylor are major sources from which he draws. The title of the CD is a philosophical reference based on a quote from Michel Foucault who says that the truth is not only found in your own roots, but also in the fact jazz in itself is always evolving. Or in ordinary people's language: “It is actually errors and misjudgments that give rise to new things that persist and have value.” It is to be hoped that a renewed estimate of the so far overlooked Warren Byrd will give rise to the the right value of an apparently new and special pianist. After all, there are not so many pianists who can play the ballad You've Changed as sensitively and romantically as Byrd.
Warren Byrd (piano), Kris Allen (alto sax), Steve Porter (double bass), Tido Holtkamp (drums);
Warren Byrd (piano), Johnathan Ball (tenor and soprano sax), Tom Pietrychia (double bass), Michael Scott, Tony Leone (drums).
Published in Dutch in Jazzflits nummer 337 18de JAARGANG, NR. 337 4 MEI 2020
(Jazzflash issue 337 18th YEAR, NR. 337 May 4, 2020)