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Rooster_Ties

Donald Byrd - Ethiopian Knights

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Yes this is a regular for me over many many years. Never fails to impress

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Way better than the Mizell dates, which I couldn't stand then and can't stand now.

That sums up how I feel about it too. When I once upon a time sampled Byrd's 70s Blue Note albums, I realized that Ethiopian Knights was the last one chronologically I would be interested in getting (and also did get). With Black Byrd and the other Mizell albums it was clear that Byrd had crossed a line into something I as a jazz listener had no interest in. Have retried Black Byrd several times afterwards, thinking that I might remember it wrong, but it is equally difficult to sit through each time!

By the way, when Blue Note recorded some of their artists on the 1973 Montreux jazz festival, they released albums by Bobby Hutcherson, Ronnie Foster, Marlena Shaw and Bobbi Humphrey, but they also recorded a fifth set with Donald Byrd, which for some reason remains unissued. Being a live set, this might be marginally better than the studio albums of the same time, but I guess we will never know.

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It's funny, while I totally notice the extreme style difference between the Donald Byrd of Ethiopian Knights and that of Black Byrd, and while I understand why the Mizell stuff would turn away a strict jazz listener, some of the Mizell stuff such as Places & Spaces and Street Lady are cool from a Roy Ayers-type funky soul/disco perspective. It's like you've got to put on a different set of ears for 'em. I've never really warmed up to the title track on Black Byrd, but I like "Love's So Far Away."

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