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kenny weir

Donald Byrd

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I've been listening to a lot of Byrd in the past few weeks - Byrd In Hand, Jacknife, The Transition Sessions mainly - so I've decided to do my radio show next week on him.

I was surprised to find I have more than 20 albums on which he is either leader or sideman, plus other tracks on compilations.

I'm not going to have enuf time to listen thoroughly to all of 'em, so I wonder if any of you discerning folks would be prepared to name your fave albums or tunes.

Cheers, Kenny

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I've been listening to a lot of Byrd in the past few weeks - Byrd In Hand, Jacknife, The Transition Sessions mainly...

I'm sure you must mean "Blackjack". (I think I've jumbled those two titles a time or two myself.)

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Hi,

i would love to hear Eldorado from Blackjack sessions :rolleyes:

peace

Marcus Oliveira

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Mobley's Far Away Lands is not well respected in some quarters. I like it, and I like Byrd's appearance on it. His solos are sweet sounding (if not absolutely secure) and melodically well shaped.

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I like the transition sessions a lot! I had not heard any of this stuff (and eagerly awaited "Bird's Eye View") and was quite delighted upon my first listen! The quartet tracks are nice, the two-trumpet blow-outs with Jon Gordon are nice (Byrd did the same as a guest on Dizzy Reece's also very nice "Blues In Trinity" and with Johnny Coles on Byrd's own "Groovin' for Nat", although on this later, Byrd is easily overshadowed by Coles, I'd say), as are (of course!) the tracks with Hank Mobley. And Doug Watkins in my opinion rates as a very close second to Paul Chambers in being the most important and best bass player of the hard bop area!

Other nice stuff with Byrd is on the Mosaic: the quintet/sextet recordings with Pepper Adams (I don't have that one, but people keep saying they end up listening more to Pepper than to Byrd, which I can imagine well, cause it's sort of the same with one I have, "Out Of This World", and also with the 2CD live "At the Half Note" which I do have).

Actually, with Byrd, I prefer his early stuff (say 55-57), because at that time he had sort of a blue flame thing going on, and was not inflicted to play like say Brownie or later Booker Little or Freddie Hubbard. Particularly well is the Columbia "Jazz Messengers", a tremendous record, nicely reissued in the late nineties with worthwile additional material and nice liners by Kenny Washington. Also Byrd's appearance (alongside Coltrane, Burrell, Silver & Philly Joe) on Paul Chamber's "Whims of Chambers". Then "Fuego" and "Byrd in Flight" are very nice, too, as are the two Jazz in Paris volumes (featuring Byrd's working band of 56 with Bobby Jaspar, Walter Davis Jr., Art Taylor and Doug Watkins - if I get it all right). In the same vein is Donald's playing on the Silver records of the same time.

"Free Form", then, is something else, but something I'd say, that was not totally successful, and once again, I tend to listen more to Shorter and Hancock than to the leader of the date. If you want to present Byrd in general, though, this deserves mention, as does the somehow a little awkward "A New Perspective".

Then the later hardbop sessions ("Mustang", "Blackjack" and the fine recently RVG'd "Slow Drag") are a nice but unspectacular bunch, too.

On Byrd's rare groove sessions, I cannot comment competently, having only "Kofi" so far, but I like that one quite well, too.

Generally, I think Byrd dissed to often as sort of an unispired second rate trumpet player of the fifties' hard bop aera. I think he deserves a little bit more of enthusiasm. He was not the one to technically shine in the manner of say Clifford Brown, but his blue flame playing is extraordinary fine in my opinion!

ubu

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:rsmile: Kofi, Electric Byrd, and Ethiopian Knights--all cool, Kofi is my favorite of the three--particularly the title track and "Loud Minority." :rhappy:

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I really like most of Byrd's pre-1970 output, but my favorites are those recorded after 1965...

Mustang! ('66)

Blackjack, Slow Drag, The Creeper ('67)

Fancy Free, Kofi ('69)

Electric Byrd ('70)

But that's as far as I'll go. The Byrd dates after 1970 just don't do a thing for me.

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I agree with Rooster Ties.

I dig Byrd's late sixties output. :D

Rooster Ties,

Congratulations! You are now a Supa Groover!

:rsmile:

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How about that first Columbia 'Jazz Lab' album with Gigi Gryce. 'Speculation' is a particular fave ..

:rhappy:

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I'd vote for the Jazz Lab with Gigi (especially Xtasy) and Off to the Races. I'd recommend the Half Note material and the Jazz in Paris material also. Any of his material with Pepper Adams is great stuff (including where Pepper is the leader, such as 10 to 4 at the Five Spot. Mustang is also not bad but the late 60s stuff leaves me cold. I don't think that's what they should remember him for. People should think of the late 50s work all the way up to around '66. After that, it tails off for me.

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I'd go as far as about 1969 but pretty well agree with what you say here Brad.

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Anyone else think there's something weird about "The Creeper" from 1967?? It's got...

Pepper Adams - Sax (Baritone), Brass

Sonny Red - Sax (Alto)

Miroslav Vitous - Bass

Donald Byrd - Trumpet

Chick Corea - Piano

Mickey Roker - Drums

I've only heard this one a few times (when I borrowed a friend's Byrd/Adams Mosaic), but I remember not being able to get my ears around it completely. I liked it, but there was also something strange about it that I couldn't quite figure out. Maybe if I heard it again, and more often.

( I plan to get the Byrd/Adams Mosaic someday, when I have the money to do it. )

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This one sounds totally unlike any of the other Byrd/Adams albums, much more of a late 60s modal feel, almost like a Morgan session of that vintage, in that respect. I like it a lot and recall having my ears pricked up big time the first time I played it on the Byrd/Adams Mosaic. It's also around the time that Chick Corea did 'Now He Sings..' and 'Inner Space' so some of that feel is also apparent. The first track ('The Creeper') is so out of kilter with the groove on the previous Byrd/Adams track that it really gets your attention.

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From what I have heard, my favourite Byrd as a leader is 'Free Form'. As king ubu mentioned however, that has a lot to do with the presence of Shorter and Hancock.

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Then the later hardbop sessions ("Mustang", "Blackjack" and the fine recently RVG'd "Slow Drag") are a nice but unspectacular bunch, too.

I disagree --- tracks like 'The Lover' (which would actually be an excellent closing number for a Byrd radio show imo) and 'Secret Love' from Slow Drag deserve a bit better than a plain 'ol "nice".

The title track is a bit weak though.

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Then the later hardbop sessions ("Mustang", "Blackjack" and the fine recently RVG'd "Slow Drag") are a nice but unspectacular bunch, too.

I disagree --- tracks like 'The Lover' (which would actually be an excellent closing number for a Byrd radio show imo) and 'Secret Love' from Slow Drag deserve a bit better than a plain 'ol "nice".

The title track is a bit weak though.

maybe you're right! I should give them another listen, soon! They're certainly not bad, but I seem to prefer his mid fifties stuff, in general. What I like on the later ones though, is the presence of Sonny Red. Got his very good blue note, too. Another underrated musician. Anyone knows why Lion did not give him a second chance as leader?

ubu

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For me, I really like:

THE CAT WALK

BYRD IN HAND

OFF TO THE RACES

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With Free Form on the RVG horizon, I've decided to revive this thread.

c1297590oau.jpg

I heard snippets of this album over the weekend and must say there is some EXCELLENT playing by Donald Byrd. GET IT!!

Along with those I would say that I love his playing on Jackie Mclean's New Soil, Vertigo, and his own Fuego.

Edited by Templejazz

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Temple Jazz, that one has always been one of my favorites of Byrd's, Griffin's, and Pepper's. No muss, no fuss hard bop.

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Missed this thread the first time around 'cause I was away.

My favorite Byrd are the two BN volumes of the Donald Byrd quintet (with Pepper Adams)

setting fire to the Half Note.

Among the many excellent Byrd dates (almost all have already been mentioned), I

really enjoy his playing with Gigy Gryce and their Jazz Lab unit.

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Kenny, try to get a copy of "I Will Wait For You" from the "The Creeper" album. It's in the Mosaic set - and that's probably your only way of getting it. This is a stunning slow performance, superbly accompanied by Chick Corea and Miroslav Vitous. It's worthy of Miles Davis and your show would not be complete without it. This item is worth two dozen routine hard bop selections, of which there are many in the discography of this trumpeter.

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Another big thumbs-up for the Riverside Johnny Griffin Sextet. Also, the Byrd/Adams album Out of This World has just been re-issued. Well worth a listen.

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Nah, I did boob but I actually meant Jackie's Bag. :o

A great session is "Appaloosa" oops, I mean "Mustang!" ;)

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Hey, no-ones mentioned Byrd's albums on Savoy. The best, and most of my favouirite early Byrd is there.

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