Recorded only months before he passed away last year, Charlie Byrd’s final recording project was a tribute to Louis Armstrong. Joe Wilder sits in to represent the lyrical side of Armstrong’s sound, holding on to the natural phrasing that has influenced nearly every jazz trumpeter since. Byrd’s nylon string classical acoustic guitar and Wilder’s mellow tone blend perfectly alongside a veteran piano trio.
Saxophonist Steve Wilson starts off the session with a soprano saxophone characterization of Sidney Bechet on "Petite Fleur." Since the tribute is for Louis Armstrong, melody takes center stage throughout. Byrd was in fine form for this session. Like Armstrong, he never considered retirement seriously. The guitarist introduces two bossa nova arrangements with "Indian Summer" and "Struttin’ With Some Barbecue." Somehow, the change from tradition seems to fit perfectly. Recommended, Byrd’s final project offers homage to two very fine gentlemen.
Track Listing: Petite Fleur; Remembering Louis Armstrong; A Kiss to Build a Dream On; Autumn in New York; Hello Dolly; Tin Roof Blues; Soft Lights and Sweet Music; A Child is Born; Struttin
Personnel: Charlie Byrd- guitar; Robert Redd- piano; Dennis Irwin- bass; Chuck Redd- drums; Joe Wilder- trumpet; Steve Wilson- soprano saxophone, alto saxophone.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.