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Sam Records

Donald Byrd - Parisian Thoroughfare

$65.00

Sam Records

Donald Byrd - Parisian Thoroughfare

$65.00

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While still a student at the Manhattan School of Music in the 1950s, Byrd was hired to replace Kenny Dorham in Art Blakely’s Jazz Messengers. His jazz pedigree was well earned. After leaving the Jazz Messengers he worked with many of the rising jazz stars of the '50s, including Gigi Gryce, Jackie McLean, Mal Waldron and, later on, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, as well as Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock (whom he mentored). He was a busy educator as well, teaching at several well-known East Coast colleges and universities. Some say he lost his way in the 1970s with a string of unashamedly commercial releases. He redeemed himself, however, in the following decades with a return to his jazz roots.

These recordings catch Byrd leading his quintet of relative unknowns and rising stars -- Bobby Jaspar on tenor sax and flute, Walter Davis, Jr. on piano, Doug Watkins on bass and Art Taylor on drums -- during their tour over a half-century ago, including appearances at Cannes, a Belgian seaside resort and a Paris nightclub.

It is clear why the audience at L’Olympia was so enthusiastic. Byrd in Paris leads off with the traditional Swedish folk song/jazz staple "Dear Old Stockholm." Jaspar shines on this tune and threatens to upstage Byrd, who is convincing as a clone of Clifford Brown. The rhythm section is as solid as a rock, and once everyone reaches a mike, the recording balances and captures the proceedings with fine sound, especially Taylor’s tasteful drum licks. "Paul’s Pals," a Sonny Rollins tune, follows, with the ensemble loping along in a mellow, laid-back mood. Side two features Jaspar on flute in his "Flute Blues." Byrd lays out on this one, letting Jaspar demonstrate his chops. "Ray’s Idea" is given trio treatment with Walter Davis playing over a firm foundation laid down by Watkins and Taylor. Clifford Brown’s barn-burning "The Blues Walk" ends the LP on an upbeat note, with everyone soloing beautifully. - The Audio Beat

Label: Sam Records (8) ‎– SR11/1, Brunswick ‎– 87 904

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Reissue, Repress, Mono

Country: France

Released: 20 Sep 2019

Genre: Jazz

Style: Hard Bop