Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Donald Byrd: Ethiopian Knights

Read "Ethiopian Knights" reviewed by Chris May

Donald Byrd (1932-2013) was a solid and dependable and prolifically recorded hard-bop trumpeter during the style's mid 1950s to mid 1960s heyday, though he was never an innovator, far less an auteur. He later went on to make a string of tedious disco-cum-jazz-funk albums which sold by the truckload. On the cusp of this shift in trajectory, Byrd made a handful of unassailable groove-jazz classics. Ethiopian Knights is the best of them. Such is the enduring demand for ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Donald Byrd: A New Perspective - 1963

Read "Donald Byrd: A New Perspective - 1963" reviewed by Marc Davis

A New Perspective is unlike any jazz album you've heard before--and the change is refreshing. The biggest difference? Voices--singers, but not jazz singers. A New Perspective includes a seven-voice gospel choir, singing wordless syllables. Not scat, but pure notes. At first, the choir feels wrong. The very first notes of this 1963 album are voices. They start with a powerful gospel feel, but then quickly change to a more pop-ish, happy-happy 1960s mode. It's jarring and ...

REASSESSING

Donald Byrd: Slow Drag

Read "Donald Byrd: Slow Drag" reviewed by Greg Simmons

Donald ByrdSlow DragBlue Note2011 (1967) In 1967 trumpeter Donald Byrd was a busy guy, teaching or lecturing at no fewer than four universities. It's a wonder he had time to play, let alone record. Fortunately, he did find the time, and the resulting Slow Drag takes an honorable place in his catalog. The album features Byrd's working unit, fresh off a stint at New York's Five Spot Café. It's ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Donald Byrd: Off To The Races

Read "Donald Byrd: Off To The Races" reviewed by John Barron

Donald Byrd Off To The Races Blue Note Records 2006 (1959)

Detroit was producing a lot more than cars in the 1950s: the city was a breeding ground for an impressive number of hard bop giants. Two of the most dynamic instrumentalists to trek eastward from Motown to the Big Apple were trumpeter Donald Byrd and baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, leader and featured sideman respectively on Off To The Races.

Off To ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Donald Byrd: Royal Flush

Read "Donald Byrd: Royal Flush" reviewed by Samuel Chell

Donald Byrd Royal Flush Blue Note 2006

One of a handful of Rudy Van Gelder remasters released this past August, Royal Flush would be welcome if only because it's the recording debut of Herbie Hancock. Looking all of fourteen in the photo included with the accompanying booklet (he was 21 at the time), Hancock plays like a seasoned pro on what was, in fact, his actual “maiden voyage." Even apart from the pianist's brilliant ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Donald Byrd Quartet featuring Bobby Jaspar: Au Chat Qui Peche 1958

Read "Au Chat Qui Peche 1958" reviewed by Samuel Chell

Were you to ask trumpeter Donald Byrd what moment in his career he would most like to relive, it would not be surprising if he selected the period documented on this recording. It was the late summer of 1958, and Byrd and his quartet had settled in for an extended gig, including practically carte blanche musical freedom, at a Parisian Left Bank jazz cave called Au Chat Qui Peche. On most occasions the quartet was augmented by the Belgian tenor ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Donald Byrd: Fuego

Read "Fuego" reviewed by Russ Musto

The role played by Donald Byrd in the development of hard bop is often unfairly overlooked these days--as if the trumpeter's '70s forays into more commercial territory justifies expunging his earlier contributions from its history. Fuego, Byrd's third date for Blue Note, finds him at his very best, in the familiar company of altoist Jackie McLean, pianist Duke Pearson, bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Lex Humphries. Recorded in October 1959, the record reflects the contemporaneous influences of two of Byrd's ...


ENGAGE

Enter our contest giveaways

Contest Giveaways

Enter the Outside In Music CD and digital album giveaway. Just click a button to enter.

Contest Guidelines

Reader's Poll: It's your festival. Who do you book?

Fantasy Festival Poll

It's your festival, you're in charge of booking and you have an unlimited budget. Share your lineup.

More Polls

Publisher's Desk

Expand your livestream audience with All About Jazz. Learn more.

MORE POSTS

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.

MUSICSTACK
Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers
AMAZON
CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more
HD TRACKS
Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads
CD UNIVERSE
Specializing in music, movies and video games
REVERB
Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.