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Donald Byrd

"Byrd's Eye View" by Donald Byrd on Transition 4

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"Byrd's Eye View" by Donald Byrd on Transition 4

One of the titles the small, charming Transition label put out.

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!

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"Byrd's Word" by Donald Byrd on Savoy MG 12032

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"Byrd's Word" by Donald Byrd on Savoy MG 12032

An enjoyable, smooth old Savoy.

Great, early Donald Byrd LP on the Savoy label. Very nice tunes and ensemble consisting of Byrd on trumpet, Frank Foster on tenor sax, Hank Jones on piano, Paul Chambers (oddly credited as Dave Chambers) on bass and Kenny Clarke on drums. A little too much reverb in some parts on the horns, but a very enjoyable session. I tend to like a more dry sound than what you have on this particular LP. But it's still a great soundin' album. Superb creamy and black cover as well with a young Donald Byrd and Paul Chambers on there. I have far too few Savoy's in the collection to date. I will look into getting some more. One for example, that is quite desirable to me is "Introducing Lee Morgan" which I will try and acquire. For many reasons I really dig these old Savoy LP's a lot. A cool, classic label. The ones I've heard are great music-wise, not over-the-top expensive, in other words a solid investment. Do any of you guys have any old Savoy favorites?

Favorite tune on the featured LP is probably "Long Green", the first track on Side 2. This album is smooth, loose and perfect to put on the turntable on a dark, cold and damp December afternoon like this. Donald Byrd is not my favorite trumpeter, but he always delivers an enjoyable experience, like on this effort. I would recommend this album to anyone. It's smooth hard bop with some cool cats and you can't go wrong with that.

Next year promises some exciting stuff, for example in the end of January, when I will purchase a great, rare album. A "holy grail" if you like. Looking forward to that. I have some other nice stuff lined up as well, so I'm starting off 2016 in high gear.

As I write this it's 4 P.M. here in Stockholm and it's pitch black outside. I will go on a family vacation on Wednesday to Jamaica. That will provide some much needed light, warmth and sunshine. I'm thrilled to be going there. Can't wait to sip on a cool one on the beach and take a dip in the Caribbean Sea. I won't be back until New Year's Eve. If I don't post while on vacation I would like to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Also, have a nice weekend and please, leave a comment if you like.

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Hank Mobley with Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan on BLP 1540

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Hank Mobley with Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan on BLP 1540

A nice Lexington label Blue Note that will not disappoint.

High energy blowing session with Hank Mobley joined by two of the greatest trumpet players of the golden era, namely Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan. As you've probably already gathered by now, I love jazz trumpet and Lee Morgan in particular, which makes this LP a real treat for me. It's one of those beautiful, early Blue Notes with the famous Lexington labels and the vinyl weighs a ton. All the other attributes which a 1st pressing should have are also there. It has got the wonderful coated frame cover as well. All the things that makes collecting original 1st pressing Blue Notes such a lovely thing. You can really feel the history breathing when you play and hold this historical artifact. A great feeling.

This LP is very rare. Quite difficult to find in it's original form with the coated frame cover present as well. My copy is in great condition and sounds awesome. I'm playing it right now. It's been a while since I last put it on the turntable. It's a great record. You feel happy when you listen to these tunes. Hank Mobley is truly one of the great tenor saxophonists. His tone is smooth, dark and luscious. Like a high cocoa content piece of dark chocolate. You just sip some bourbon, enjoy these amazing artists and let them take you away to a distant place.

All tunes are very enjoyable. I dig "Barrel of Funk" a lot, as it plays at this moment in the background. The personnel on this LP are absolutely outstanding. Hank Mobley on tenor sax, Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan on trumpets, Horace Silver on piano, Paul Chambers on double bass and the fantastic Charlie Persip on drums. Could it get better than that? You'd be hard pressed to find a tighter ensemble.

This is a LP from the era that you would want in your collection, no doubt. Straight forward hard bop at it's finest. Check it out if you haven't already.

Really looking forward to add some new pieces to the collection, but they will have to wait a bit, but not very long. I have some really nice stuff coming up. Really good music. Really rare.

More beautiful pieces from my collection are coming up, so as always, stay tuned. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know your opinion on this album or anything else. Cheers!

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A pleasant Savoy with Hank Jones, MG-12037

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A pleasant Savoy with Hank Jones, MG-12037

Hank Jones on Savoy

This is one of those superb LP's from the era which are not that expensive. Well, at least compared to other stuff. Great, tight sound on this. Van Gelder of course. Hank Jones on piano is the leader, and he has some nice personnel around him, with Donald Byrd on trumpet, the obscure trumpet player Matty Dice, whom I've never seen on other records, Eddie Jones, another cat whom I've never had the pleasure to listen to either and the great Kenny Clarke on drums. The set is very enjoyable to say the least, I love this album. I really love the Savoy label as well, but I do not own a lot of them. There are quite a bunch of great albums on Savoy that I need to acquire.

This album proves that there are albums out there, 1st pressings in great condition from the era, that are absolutely superb, that you don't have to empty your bank account for to get. This LP means just as much to me as any other of my records, and I hold it in very high regard. I think it's strange that a record of this calibre on this label can be acquired for so little. But that's great. There's still bargains to be had out there. I believe this album is quite rare, it's not like you see it every day in this condition.

A great album which you should have a look at if you haven't already. Nice hard bop that is smooth and relaxing. Favorite tune for me, is probably the last track, the ballad "Don't Blame Me".

Stay tuned for other great jazz pralines.

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