Archive for Donald Byrd

Donald Byrd/Nathan Davis in Montreux (1973)

Posted in clips, Donald Byrd, jazz with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2013 by crownpropeller

IMPORTANT UPDATE: (February 27, 2013): Blue Note is now offering the audio of the whole concert (for free) here.
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Donald Byrd in Montreux, Switzerland, on July 5, 1973

Unfortunately it is true. Jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd passed on February 4, 2013. I would like to pay tribute to the man and his music, so I just uploaded nearly half an hour of video from the archives, showing the Donald Byrd/Nathan Davis group at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, on July 5, 1973. I am not too well versed in Byrd’s repertoire of that time, so if anyone knows what is played here, it would be nice if you could tell me. According to Tom Lord’s Jazz Discography, the concert was recorded by Blue Note – but never issued. Lord gives the following titles: “Poco-mania”, “You’ve got it bad, girl”, “Untitled no. 3”, “Black Byrd” and “Flight time”. So maybe someone knows how this fits together. I chopped the video into three parts. The video was partly not in synch and this made it easier for me to bring it into synch again.

You will be hearing and seeing: Donald Byrd (tp,flhrn) Fonce Mizell (tp) Allan Barnes (fl,ts) Nathan Davis (sop,ts) Larry Mizell (synt) Kevin Toney (el-p) Barney Perry (el-g) Henry Franklin (el-b) Keith Killgo (d,vcl) Ray Armando (cga,perc)

In part 2 the band is playing “Black Byrd” (thanks to Ehsan Khoshbakt for identifying the title)

 

Enjoy!

Earliest Donald Byrd

Posted in 78 rpm, Donald Byrd, jazz with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2013 by crownpropeller

Yesterday the jazz world heard of the passing of trumpet legend Donald Byrd. But until now the only source for this sad news is Byrd’s nephew, confirmation from other relatives is still missing.

If  it’s true that Donald Byrd passed, he would have reached the age of 80. Not widely known – although mentioned in standard discographies – is the fact that Byrd started his career at a very early age. Byrd can first be heard on two 78rpm records by the tenor saxophonist Robert Barnes for Fortune Records, a company based in Detroit. Although some discographies note 1947 for these recordings (Byrd would have been 15 then), it was probably recorded in 1949. judging from the date on which one of the resulting records was mentioned in Billboard.

Of the four sides with “Sahib Byrd” apparently released I can offer you two here. Unfortunately the record this was dubbed from broke some dozen years ago and was glued. When played now it skips and jumps at several points, although  I really tried my very best to fix the problem (if someone has a better sound file, please let me know)

Although “Bobbin’ At Barbee’s” is designated as the b-side of Fortune 113, it’s the side with a solo by Byrd, so I put it in first place. Billboard (June 18, 1949) did not like it very much: “Just noise – hardly any music”, is all they had to say.

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At least Billboard had more words for the a-side, “Black Eyed Peas”,which features Barnes exclusively: “Good opening riff dissipates into another loud honking tenor sax solo of little quality or distinction.”

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Not Valaida Snow!

Posted in documents, Valaida Snow with tags , , , , on November 13, 2010 by crownpropeller

If you are looking for photos of trumpeter/singer Valaida Snow on the internet, you will find the above photo on several websites. It is indeed a beautiful photograph – but it does not show Valaida Snow. In fact this is Lorraine Glover, wife of famous hardbop trumpet player Donald Byrd. And it was shot by William Claxton in 1960. There are several books of Claxton’s work in which this photo is featured (usually just credited “Mrs. Donald Byrd”). The websites on which this photo is credited as showing Valaida snow can’t either be reached or ignore my postings about this, so maybe this helps.