290

Charlie Byrd: Byrd Song

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Byrd Song is a peculiar album, even from a man whose career was always hard to pigeonhole. Although not as well-known or perhaps as highly regarded as Wes Mongomery or Kenny Burrell, Byrd was an accomplished guitarist who fused classical technique and jazz licks on everything from standards to Brazilian folk music. On Byrd Song (recorded in 1965) he embellishes his guitar- bass-drums format with a choir that sings vocalese licks (a la Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross) in response to the melodies of the trio. It’s a compelling experiment that unfortunately wears thin after a few numbers. By the third time around, the vocalists feels like guests who showed up uninvited to a nice shindig and one longs for the unadorned charm of Byrd’s guitar without the distraction.

Charilie Byrd always had a tendency to tinker with his presentation more than he should-an affectation which makes each of his albums distinctive, but often detracts from the folksy charm of Byrd’s baroque jazz. Fortunately, about half of the album features Byrd backed by his rhythm section, or unaccompanied, and these are the real treasure. People who are unfamiliar with Byrd would do well to pick up another of his albums first. For Charlie Byrd fans this album, long out of print, will not become a favorite, but will prove to be an intriguing listen and a good purchase.


Track Listing: I Left My Heart in San Francisco/ Who Will Buy?/ The Night We Called it a Day/ Wild Cat/ Felicidade/ Action Painting/ This Can

Personnel: Charlie Byrd- guitar; Keter Betts- bass; Bill Reichenbach- drums; anonymous voices. Recorded 1965.

Title: Byrd Song | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Pathways" CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "But Wait… There’s More! / Live 2017" CD/LP/Track Review But Wait… There’s More! / Live 2017
by Roger Weisman
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Confidences" CD/LP/Track Review Confidences
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Steeped" CD/LP/Track Review Steeped
by John Eyles
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "Beyond The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Beyond The Moon
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Blue Light" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Light
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 14, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.