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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II (aka Donald Byrd) - we lose another great one

Donald Byrd was an extremely great hard bop trumpeter.  A brilliant man, he studied hard to become a professor and taught jazz at major universities.  He wrote and performed Cristo Redentor, a jazz standard that has been covered by dozens of great artists, including blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite. But he really grabbed me when he "crossed over" to funk in the 1970's and launched the Blackbyrds with a bunch of youngsters.  "Do It, Fluid" was my favorite party tune when I was a young man. I remember that LP well - there was a reproduction of Van Gogh's "Wheatfield with Crows" on the cover.  I wore that damn record out.

Donald Byrd changed the game and he is revered by many people (including quite a few hip hop artists, who have sampled the hell out of his music).  Here is the New York Times obit.

The giants fall.  Will others fill the void?

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