Friday, July 3, 2015


Donald Byrd stoked a funky fire with the smoldering soul of this low life lament.   Trumpeter Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II had graduated from Detroit’s Cass Technical High School and Wayne State University before receiving his master’s from the Manhattan School of Music.  After playing with the U.S. Air Force Band he moved to New York where he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers replacing Clifford Brown.  

He recorded nine albums as a bandleader (as well as dozens more as a sideman) on Transition Records, Prestige Records, Verve Records, and Columbia Records before signing with Blue Note Records in 1958.  He released two albums Off to the Races and Byrd in Hand in 1959 before going into Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey with producer Alfred Lion and engineer Rudy Van Gelder to record 'Fuego' with a new quintet.  The session on October 4, 1959 featured  Donald Byrd on trumpet; Jackie McLean on alto saxophone; Duke Pearson on piano; Doug Watkins on bass; and Lex Humphries on drums.

full album:

All compositions by Donald Byrd

"Fuego" - 6:38
"Bup a Loup" - 4:05
"Funky Mama" - 10:58
"Low Life" - 6:02
"Lament" - 8:27
"Amen" - 4:46

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