Thursday, December 8, 2011

Donald Byrd


Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II, (born December 9, 1932) is an American jazz and rhythm and blues trumpeter. A sideman for many other jazz musicians of his generation, Byrd is best known as one of the only bebop jazz musicians who successfully pioneered the funk and soul genres while simultaneously remaining a pop artist.
In 1973, he created The Blackbyrds, a fusion group consisting of his best students. They scored several major hits including "Happy Music" , "Walking In Rhythm"  and "Rock Creek Park".
Byrd attended Cass Technical High School. He performed with Lionel Hampton before finishing high school. After playing in a military band during a term in the United States Air Force, he obtained a bachelor's degree in music from Wayne State University and a master's degree from Manhattan School of Music.
While still at the Manhattan School, he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, as replacement for Clifford Brown. In 1955, he recorded with Jackie McLean and Mal Waldron. After leaving the Jazz Messengers in 1956, he performed with many leading jazz musicians of the day, including John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, and later Herbie Hancock.
Byrd's first regular group was a quintet that he co-led from 1958-61 with baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, an ensemble whose hard driving performances are captured "live" on At the Half Note Cafe. In June 1964, Byrd jammed with jazz legend Eric Dolphy in Paris just two weeks before Dolphy's death from insulin shock.
In the 1970s, he moved away from the hard-bop jazz idiom and began to record jazz fusion and rhythm and blues. He teamed up with the Mizell Brothers (producer-writers Larry and Fonce) for Black Byrd in 1972. It was highly successful and became Blue Note Records' highest-ever selling album. The title track climbed to #19 on Billboard's R&B chart and reached the Hot 100 pop chart, peaking at #88. The Mizell brothers' follow-up albums for Byrd, Street Lady, Places and Spaces and Steppin' Into Tomorrow were also big sellers, and have subsequently provided a rich source of samples for acid jazz artists such as Us3. Most of the material for the albums was written by Larry Mizell.
In 1994, Byrd appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation album, Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool. The album, meant to raise awareness and funds in support of the AIDS epidemic in relation to the African American community, was heralded as "Album of the Year" by Time Magazine.
He has taught music at Rutgers University, the Hampton Institute, New York University, Howard University, Queens College, Oberlin College, Cornell University and Delaware State University.
In addition to his Masters from Manhattan School of Music, Byrd has two masters from Columbia University. Byrd received a law degree in 1976, and his doctorate from Columbia University Teachers College in 1982.
In September 2009, he was named an artist-in-residence at Delaware State University. Byrd lives in Teaneck, New Jersey

As leader
Off to the Races (1958), Blue Note
Byrd in Hand (1959), Blue Note
Fuego (1959), Blue Note
Byrd in Flight (1960), Blue Note
At the Half Note Cafe (1960), Blue Note
Motor City Scene - with Pepper Adams (1960), Bethlehem
Chant (1961), Blue Note
The Cat Walk (1961), Blue Note
Royal Flush (1961), Blue Note
Free Form (1961), Blue Note
A New Perspective (1963), Blue Note
Up with Donald Byrd (1964), Verve
I'm Tryin' to Get Home (1964), Blue Note
Mustang! (1966), Blue Note
Blackjack (1967), Blue Note
Slow Drag (1967), Blue Note
The Creeper (1967), Blue Note
Fancy Free (1969) Blue Note
Electric Byrd (1969–70), Blue Note
Kofi (1969), Blue Note
Ethiopian Knights (1971), Blue Note
Black Byrd (1972), Blue Note
Street Lady (1973), Blue Note
Stepping into Tomorrow (1974), Blue Note
Places and Spaces (1975), Blue Note
Caricatures (1976), Blue Note
Thank You... for F.U.M.L. (Funking Up My Life) (1978), Elektra
Love Byrd (1981), Elektra
Words, Sounds, Colors and Shapes (1983) Landmark
Harlem Blues (1987), Landmark
Getting Down to Business (1989), Landmark
A City Called Heaven (1991), Landmark
Touchstone (2000)
The Transition Sessions (2002)
As sideman
1955 Kenny Clarke - Bohemia After Dark
1955 Cannonball Adderley - Discoveries
1955 Oscar Pettiford - Another One
1955 Hank Jones - Quartet-Quintet
1955 Hank Jones - Bluebird - one track only
1955 Ernie Wilkins - Top Brass
1956 George Wallington - Jazz for the Carriage Trade
1956 Jackie McLean - Lights Out!
1956 Hank Mobley - The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley
1956 Kenny Clarke - Klook's Clique
1956 Art Blakey - The Jazz Messengers
1956 Rita Reys - The Cool Voice of Rita Reys
1956 Elmo Hope - Informal Jazz
1956 Phil Woods - Pairing Off
1956 Jackie McLean - 4, 5 and 6
1956 Gene Ammons - Jammin' with Gene
1956 Horace Silver - Silver's Blue
1956 Hank Mobley - Mobley's Message
1956 Hank Mobley - Jazz Message #2
1956 Art Farmer - 2 Trumpets
1956 Paul Chambers - Whims of Chambers
1956 Phil Woods/Donald Byrd - The Young Bloods
1956 Horace Silver - 6 Pieces of Silver
1956 Hank Mobley - Hank Mobley Sextet
1956 Doug Watkins - Watkins at Large
1956 Sonny Rollins - Sonny Rollins, Vol. 1
1956 Kenny Burrell - All Night Long
1957 Kenny Burrell - All Day Long
1957 Gigi Gryce/Donald Byrd - Jazz Lab
1957 Art Farmer/Donald Byrd/Idrees Sulieman - Three Trumpets
1957 Lou Donaldson - Wailing with Lou
1957 Jimmy Smith - A Date with Jimmy Smith Volume One
1957 Art Taylor - Taylor Wailer's
1957 Gigi Gryce - Gigi Gryce and The Jazz Lab Quintet
1957 George Wallington - The New York Scene
1957 Various Artists - American Jazzmen Play Andre Hodeir's Essais
1957 Kenny Burrell/Jimmy Raney - 2 Guitars
1957 Kenny Drew - This is New
1957 Hank Mobley - Hank
1957 Paul Chambers - Paul Chambers Quintet
1957 The Gigi Gryce/Donald Byrd Jazz Lab - At Newport - One side of LP which also features Cecil Taylor
1957 Gigi Gryce/Donald Byrd - New Formulas from the Jazz Lab
1957 Gigi Gryce/Donald Byrd - Modern Jazz Perspective
1957 Sonny Clark - Sonny's Crib
1957 John Jenkins - Star Eyes
1957 Oscar Pettiford - Winner's Circle
1957 George Wallington - Jazz at Hotchkiss
1957 Red Garland - All Mornin' Long
1957 Red Garland - Soul Junction
1957 Red Garland - High Pressure
1957 Lou Donaldson - Lou Takes Off
1958 John Coltrane - Lush Life - one track only
1958 John Coltrane - The Believer - two tracks
1958 John Coltrane - The Last Trane - two tracks
1958 Johnny Griffin - Johnny Griffin Sextet
1958 Pepper Adams - 10 to 4 at the 5 Spot
1958 John Coltrane - Black Pearls
1958 Michel Legrand - Legrand Jazz
1958 Dizzy Reece - Blues in Trinity
1958 Art Blakey - Holiday for Skins
1958 Jim Timmens - Gilbert and Sullivan Revisited
1959 Jackie McLean - Jackie's Bag
1959 Thelonious Monk - The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall
1959 Chris Connor - Ballads of the Sad Cafe
1959 Sonny Clark - My Conception
1959 Manny Albam/Teo Macero - Something New, Something Blue
1959 Jackie McLean - Vertigo
1959 Jackie McLean - New Soil
1959 Walter Davis Jr. - Davis Cup
1961 Pepper Adams - Out of This World
1962 Duke Pearson - Hush!
1963 Hank Mobley - No Room for Squares
1963 Hank Mobley - Straight No Filter - released 1986
1963 Hank Mobley - The Turnaround
1963 Jimmy Heath - Swamp Seed
1963 Herbie Hancock - My Point of View
1964 Dexter Gordon - One Flight Up
1964 Cal Tjader - Soul Sauce
1964 Solomon Ilori - African High Life
1964 Duke Pearson - Wahoo!
1965 Dexter Gordon - Ladybird
1965 Wes Montgomery - Goin' Out of My Head
1967 Stanley Turrentine - A Bluish Bag
1967 Sam Rivers - Dimensions & Extensions
1967 Hank Mobley - Far Away Lands
1977 Gene Harris - Tone Tantrum
1978 Sonny Rollins - Don't Stop the Carnival
1993 Guru - Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1
1995 Guru - Guru's Jazzmatazz, Vol. 2: The New Reality

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