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Sunday, December 01, 2013

A Byrd Told Me

Quick Takes Dept.: It was nice to be able to walk from my house to a terrific jazz club and see the likes of Charlie Byrd. I’ve long since moved, and the era of the Van Dyck as top-tier jazz club also ended years ago.


Charlie Byrd
YOU HAVE TO WONDER WHY SOME of these cats pay good money to sit in the Van Dyck’s piano room and then yack, oblivious to the music. It’s gotten better, though, since a card was placed at each table telling the people to shut up. Charlie Byrd was there last week doing things with amplified acoustic guitar that were spellbinding. Working with housemen Mike Flanagan on bass and drummer Ralph Purificato, he swung through tunes like “Jive at Five” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” paid tribute to Astaire with “I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket” and “Change Partners,” and did a long bossa set with a bunch of Jobim tunes.

During a solo set of state-related songs (e.g. “I’m Coming Virginia” and “Georgia on My Mind”) he put in “How About You?” for this state (“I like New York in June, how about you?”) because, as he told us, he hates “New York, New York.” He is a man of taste.

Charlie Byrd
The Van Dyck, Schenectady, NY, Nov. 14

Metroland Magazine, 20 November 1986

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