Here's a nice copy of Donald Byrd's early album "Byrd's Eye View" on the Transition label. It comes complete with the booklet. This is the only Transition record I have to date. I will aim for some other ones later as well. The problem though with these Transition records is that they are made of styrene instead of vinyl. This material is lighter than vinyl and supposedly wears out much quicker. This means I will play this record a bit less than the others I have, because I want it to be relatively fresh for a long time. I have it on the turntable as I write this, and it sounds quite good. It's been a while since I played it last. A great set of tunes played by a sextet consisting of Byrd and Joe Gordon on trumpets, Hank Mobley on tenor sax, Horace Silver on piano, Doug Watkins on bass and Art Blakey on the drums.
The Transition label had the policy of recording with a "Live Concert Fidelity", meaning this; and I quote from the booklet... "We at Transition believe that the best jazz results from an optimum combination of musicianly skills and ethusiastic audience response. Each recording is made under the most authentic conditions: in the jazz club, at jazz concerts, or in the studio with a live audience in attendance. Few retakes are made, even at studio sessions, in order to preserve the freshness and spontaneity of the jazz improvisations"...pretty damn cool I'd say.
This is for me, a must for any Donald Byrd fan. It's great example of his early work and a highly enjoyable session. The recorded sound isn't really comparable to the Blue Note albums of the same era, but this more primitive sound adds to the charm of the albums on this short-lived label. As well, the styrene compound maybe wasn't the best material for producing great sounding records. The labels on these styrene records are glued on and will eventually fall off. On my copy the labels are, amazingly, still attached. On one side the label has started to lift a bit but that's the way it goes. I'm happy with my copy of this very rare piece of jazz history. I'd like to get my hands on the highly desirable "Byrd Blows on Beacon Hill", also on Transition (17) at a later stage. I love these smaller jazz labels with rare records. The logotype of the Transition label is very cool, together with the special artwork of the front cover and the blank blue back. The booklet is a very nice feature as well, to make the package complete. To me, this record has to have the booklet with it. Amazing that my booklet is in such astonishing condition still, after all these years.
If you come across this album don't hesitate to add it to your collection. It's a piece worth having for sure. Just don't play it too much... stay tuned for other great records from my beloved collection. The sun is shining here in Stockholm today, have a great Sunday!