Edited by Azizi Powell
This post showcases the Jazz-Gospel track "Cristo Rendito" which is featured in Donald Byrd's 1963 album "A New Perspective". This post also showcases the Jazz composition "Black Byrd" that is featured in Donald Byrd's 1973 album of that name.
The content of this post is presented for historical, inspirational, and aesthetic purposes.
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INFORMATION ABOUT DONALD BYRD
"Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II (December 9, 1932 – February 4, 2013) was an American jazz and rhythm and blues trumpeter"....
Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toussaint_Louverture for information about the leader of the Haitian Revolution who was Donald Byrd's namesake
"Donald Byrd was considered one of the finest hard bop trumpeters of the post-Clifford Brown era. He recorded prolifically as both a leader and sideman from the mid-'50s into the mid-'60s, most often for Blue Note, where he established a reputation as a solid stylist with a clean tone, clear articulation, and a knack for melodicism. Toward the end of the '60s, Byrd became fascinated with Miles Davis' move into fusion, and started recording his own forays into the field. In the early '70s, with the help of brothers Larry and Fonce Mizell, Byrd perfected a bright, breezy, commercially potent take on fusion that was distinct from Davis, incorporating tighter arrangements and more of a smooth soul influence. Opinions on this phase of Byrd's career diverge wildly -- jazz purists utterly despised it, branding Byrd a sellout and the records a betrayal of talent, but enraptured jazz-funk fans regard it as some of the most innovative, enduring work of its kind. In fact, proportionately speaking, Byrd was held in even higher esteem by that audience than by straight-ahead jazz fans who enjoyed his hard bop output.
Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II was born in Detroit, Michigan, on December 9, 1932. His father, a Methodist minister, was an amateur musician, and Byrd was already an accomplished trumpeter by the time he finished high school, having performed with Lionel Hampton. Byrd served a stint in the Air Force, during which time he played in a military band, and subsequently completed his bachelor's degree in music at Wayne State University in 1954. He moved to New York in 1955 to get his master's at the Manhattan School of Music, and soon began performing with pianist George Wallington's group. In December of that year, he was invited to join Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, filling a chair once held by his idol, Clifford Brown, and Kenny Dorham. Byrd also began his recording career during this period, leading several sessions (mostly for Savoy) and working often as a sideman, particularly at the Prestige label. He left the Jazz Messengers in 1956 and joined up with Max Roach; he went on to play with the likes of John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Red Garland, and also co-founded the Jazz Lab Quintet with altoist Gigi Gryce in 1957".
Continue reading the biography of this great Jazz trumpeter & composer on the page whose link is given above.
FEATURED SOUND FILE - CRISTO RENDITO
Donald Byrd - Cristo Redentor
bystandersmusic, Uploaded on Dec 10, 2007
Donald Byrd's biography is also included in the summary of that sound file at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2KvM2T40RQ
INFORMATION ABOUT CRISTO RENDITO
"Cristo Rendito" is Portuguese for "Christ the Redeemer". This Jazz-Gospel track was composed by "Duke" Pearson, Jr and is included in Donald Byrd's 1963 album "A New Perspective". "Christo Rendito" was inspired by the statue of Jesus that has that name in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristo_Redentor_(statue) for information about that famous statue.
"Columbus Calvin "Duke" Pearson, Jr (Atlanta, Georgia, August 17, 1932 – Atlanta, August 4, 1980) was an American jazz pianist and composer. Allmusic notes him as being a "big part in shaping the Blue Note label's hard bop direction in the 1960s as a producer."...
On the 1963 [Donald] Byrd album A New Perspective, Pearson arranged four tracks, including "Cristo Redentor", which became a big hit. The song, Pearson later commented, was inspired by a trip he took to Brazil while touring with [Nancy] Wilson.
"A New Perspective is a 1963 album by jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd released on the Blue Note label as BLP 4124 and BST 84124. The performances are mainly in a hard bop style, but the recording also features a gospel choir.
About the project, Byrd said: "I mean this album seriously. Because of my own background, I've always wanted to write an entire album of spiritual-like pieces. The most accurate way I can describe what we were all trying to do is that this is a modern hymnal. In an earlier period, the New Orleans jazzmen would often play religious music for exactly what it was - but with their own jazz textures and techniques added. Now, as modern jazzmen, we're also approaching this tradition with respect and great pleasure.""...
FEATURED SOUND FILE - BLACK BYRD
Donald Byrd - Black Byrd
aquarianrealm, Uploaded on Aug 13, 2011
"Review by Steve Huey: Purists howled with indignation when Donald Byrd released Black Byrd, a full-fledged foray into R&B that erupted into a popular phenomenon. Byrd was branded a sellout and a traitor to his hard bop credentials, especially after Black Byrd became the biggest-selling album in Blue Note history. What the elitists missed, though, was that Black Byrd was the moment when Byrd's brand of fusion finally stepped out from under the shadow of his chief influence, Miles Davis, and found a distinctive voice of its own. Never before had a jazz musician embraced the celebratory sound and style of contemporary funk as fully as Byrd did here -- not even Davis, whose dark, chaotic jungle-funk stood in sharp contrast to the bright, breezy, danceable music on Black Byrd. Byrd gives free rein to producer/arranger/composer Larry Mizell, who crafts a series of tightly focused, melodic pieces often indebted to the lengthier orchestrations of Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield. They're built on the most straightforward funk rhythms Byrd had yet tackled, and if the structures aren't as loose or complex as his earlier fusion material...
Byrd's solos are mostly melodic and in-the-pocket, but that allows the funk to take center stage. Sure, maybe the electric piano, sound effects, and Roger Glenn's ubiquitous flute date the music somewhat, but that's really part of its charm. Black Byrd was state-of-the-art for its time, and it set a new standard for all future jazz/R&B/funk fusions -- of which there were many. Byrd would continue to refine this sound on equally essential albums like Street Lady and the fantastic Places and Spaces, but Black Byrd stands as his groundbreaking signature statement."
ANOTHER REVIEW OF "BLACK BYRD"
"Dr. Donald Byrd's deeply rooted jazz background never stopped him from constantly pushing jazz forward, opening the minds of his listeners in the process. Produced by Larry Mizell in 1973, Black Byrd is filled with beautiful music that captures his passion for sound. The sophisticated, uptempo instrumentals are funky and danceable, but also extremely smooth. Byrd's impeccable trumpet meshes perfectly with the African-influenced beats and rhythms. Jazz purists may want to look into earlier Blue Note recordings such as Royal Flush and Byrd in Flight." --Shane Hunt
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THANKS
Thanks to Donald Byrd for his music legacies. RIP. RIP also to Duke Pearson Jr for his musical legacy.
Thanks also to all of the musicians and vocalists in these featured sound files. My thanks also to the authors of the articles that are quoted in this post, and the uploaders of these featured sound files.
Also, thank you for visiting pancocojams.
Viewer comments are welcome.