Billy Byers

Billy Byers

born on 1/5/1927 in Los Angeles, CA, United States

died on 1/5/1996 in Malibu, CA, United States

Billy Byers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

William Mitchell Byers (May 1, 1927 - May 1, 1996) was an American jazz trombonist and arranger.

Born in Los Angeles, Byers suffered from arthritis from a young age and was unable to continue his plans of a career as a pianist. He picked up trombone and played with Karl Kiffle before serving in the Army in 1944-45. In the second half of the 1940s he arranged and played trombone for Georgie Auld, Buddy Rich, Benny Goodman, Charlie Ventura, and Teddy Powell. Following this he composed for WMGM (AM) radio and television in New York City. In the middle of the 1950s he was in Paris arranging for Ray Ventura; he also led a session of his own at this time. Later in the 1950s in Europe he played with Harold Arlen (1959–1960) and with the orchestra of Quincy Jones. He became Jones's assistant at Mercury Records in the 1960s, and arranged for Count Basie and Dan Terry's 1969 album Lonely Place. He also played trombone on Frank Zappa's Waka/Jawaka and recorded some Duke Ellington standards on his own. He toured Europe and Japan alongside Frank Sinatra in 1974. Byers had extensive credits arranging and conducting for film, and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations for City of Angels.


As leader/co-leader

  • The Jazz Workshop (RCA Victor, 1955)
  • New Sounds in Swing (Jazztone, 1956) with Joe Newman - also released as Byers' Guide
  • Jazz on the Left Bank (Epic, 1956) with Martial Solal
  • Impressions of Duke Ellington (Mercury, 1961)

As sideman

With Count Basie

  • More Hits of the 50's and 60's (Verve, 1963) - as arranger and conductor
  • Pop Goes the Basie (Reprise, 1965) - as arranger and conductor
  • Basie Swingin' Voices Singin' (ABC-Paramount, 1966) with the Alan Copeland Singers

With Bob Brookmeyer

  • Gloomy Sunday and Other Bright Moments (Verve, 1961)

With Al Cohn

  • Mr. Music (RCA Victor, 1955)

With Billy Eckstine

  • The Golden Hits of Billy Eckstine (Mercury, 1963) - as arranger

With Coleman Hawkins

  • The Hawk in Hi Fi (RCA Victor, 1956) - as arranger and conductor

With J. J. Johnson

  • Goodies (RCA Victor, 1965) as arranger/conductor

With Quincy Jones

  • The Birth of a Band! (Mercury, 1959)
  • Quincy Jones Explores the Music of Henry Mancini (Mercury, 1964)
  • Golden Boy (Mercury, 1964)
  • Quincy Plays for Pussycats (Mercury, 1959-65 [1965])
  • The Great Wide World of Quincy Jones (Mercury, 1959)

With Lee Konitz

  • You and Lee (Verve, 1959)

With Jack McDuff

  • Prelude (Prestige, 1963)

With Gary McFarland

  • The Jazz Version of "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying" (Verve, 1962)

With Hal McKusick

  • Triple Exposure (Prestige, 1957)

With Carmen McRae

  • Something to Swing About (Kapp, 1959)

With Joe Newman

  • I Feel Like a Newman (Storyville, 1956)

With Lalo Schifrin

  • Music from Mission: Impossible (Dot, 1967)

With Bud Shank

  • Windmills of Your Mind (Pacific Jazz, 1969)

With Julius Watkins

  • French Horns for My Lady (Philips, 1962) - as arranger

With Andy Williams

  • Under Paris Skies (Cadence Records, 1960)

With Kai Winding

  • Kai Olé (Verve, 1961)

With Frank Zappa

  • The Grand Wazoo (1972)
  • Waka/Jawaka (1972)


  • Billy Byers at Allmusic
This page was last modified 26.05.2018 20:16:29

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