Soul Station Feature: Don Byas

Working Eyes

Don Byas went to Europe with Don Redman in the fall of 1946 and he and many members of that band stayed in Europe. By October Byas was recording with a largely African American band mostly drawn from the group he arrived with. During his first Paris session, he used Herbert Lee 'Peanuts' Holland (trumpet), Tyree Glenn (trombone) and Billy Taylor (piano). One of the best numbers they cut is Glenn's Working Eyes, which Duke Ellington turned into Sultry Serenade and claimed for himself, at least on the record label. Ellington's version was the B-side of Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me on Columbia. Perhaps this got straightened out later, perhaps after Glenn left the Duke's employ. I say this because later Herbie Mann recorded it and there the ascription goes to Glenn and NOT Ellington. It is a great tune and the original is great, with fine solos all around.

DJ Pi/Paul Yamada