Is this record worth a spin? Should I buy it? Will it add to or detract
from my credibility? Should I care?
I wish someone could break it down for me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Donald Byrd- Royal Flush

This 1961 Blue Note release finds Donald Byrd performing as a bandleader at the height of his powers. These were also the de rigueur days of bebop jazz , before the evolution of free jazz and fusion. His trumpet playing is more measured than Miles Davis, but it's hard to compare Byrd with a man who was consistently performing at such spectacular levels. Before going solo, so to speak, Byrd worked the jazz circuit as a featured player for Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk so his pedigree was clearly established. Byrd moved on to R&B in the 70s and produced a lucrative catalog of recordings for Blue Note while also receiving not one, but two masters degrees from Columbia University.
"Shangri-La", with its military-style drum beats and dueling trumpet/sax solos is a definite highlight. "Requiem" provides a rousing and fitting end to the set. This era of jazz goes down so damn easy that I just may break out a Cohiba cigar and my foot massager.

Buy this record for that country drive you plan on taking when the weather's nice and you don't care where the kids will be.


No comments:

Post a Comment