Donald Byrd's story parallels the decline of Jazz in America and the changes that transpired in an attempt to remain relevant.
Trumpeter Donald Byrd was 15 years old when he cut his first record as a sessionman for the Robert Barnes Sextet. He didn't record again until eight years later, when in 1955, he guested on a Kenny Clarke recording. The first album under his own name appeared just two months later on Transition Records. That was followed by several years of journeyman work for future jazz stars such as Hank Mobley, Jackie McLean and Horace Silver as well as a stint in the Jazz Messegers.
He debuted on Blue Note Records in 1958, and his recordings range from Bop in 1958 to Post-Bop in 1963, to Fusion in 1970. In Byrd's case, it progressed into a jazz/soul/funk hybrid that helped to form the roots of Acid-Jazz. 1972's 'Black Byrd' was the result; the biggest seller in Blue Note history, reaching number two on the R&B albums chart. He assembled and produced a group called the Blackbyrds in 1974, although he didn't play with them. They had two Top 20 singles and are best known for the song "Walking In Rhythm". He has recorded sporadically since then; AllMusic shows nine albums between 1977 and 2006.
This collection covers the twenty four albums recorded during the Blue Note years from 1958 until 1976. I've also included the album Groovin' For Nat; recorded for Black Saint. I just liked it a lot. (Burns)