I’ve loved this recording from the first hearing, about 35 years ago. The only tenor play that gets that Byas vibe these days is Lew Tabackin. Slam is amazing on here - anyone who thought he just did novelty records is in for a surprise.
I was slack-jawed when I first heard this some years ago. Byas doing one of the greatest improvs I've ever heard. So integrated but inventive. Just amazing. And Slam Stewart is just in a league of his own. I love to watch him switch from pizz to arco and back without missing a beat. Showman? Yes. Novelty? He(( no!
It seems very unusual for that time that they played as a duo.
https://jazzhistoryonline.com/town-hall-1945/ says that Martin Williams "claimed that the two musicians were the first to show up for the concert, and spontaneously performed the duets to entertain the waiting audience. Using the matrix numbers as a guide, Morgenstern placed the duets at the very end of the concert. Feather's review contradicts both Williams and Morgenstern by stating that the Byas/Stewart duet was an "interlude" (we will assume that the British-born and educated Feather knew the proper use of that word). The Rosenkrantz memoir also makes it clear that Byas and Stewart had performed together before the concert, and Morgenstern states that Rosenkrantz recorded the duo in his apartment a few days before the concert."
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