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Duke Ellington And His Orchestra - Ellington at Newport (1956/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Duke Ellington And His Orchestra
Title: Ellington at Newport
Genre: Jazz, Big Band, Swing, Early Jazz
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 1956/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC 2.0 Mono 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 1:06:06
Recorded live at the American Jazz Festival at Newport, Rhode Island on July 7, 1956.

Since its inception as the "First Annual American Jazz Festival" in 1954, the Newport Jazz Festival set the standard for large scale outdoor summer music gatherings. Subsequent music festivals -- from Newport Folk through Montreux, Monterey Pop, Woodstock, Coachella and beyond -- have Newport Jazz to thank for establishing the concept and reality of a music community coming together for a shared outdoor concert experience.
With the 60th anniversary edition of the Newport Jazz Festival, returning to its original home at the Casino and at Fort Adams State Park on August 1, 2, 3 in Newport, Rhode Island, music fans can enjoy some of the Festival's finest performances from Duke Ellington, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Ella Fitzgerald and Lionel Hampton on six new digital releases.
Jazz impresario and Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein called Duke Ellington's 1956 concert at Newport, "the greatest performance of [Ellington's] career," adding that the music "stood for everything that jazz had been and could be." The digital edition of Ellington At Newport: The Original Album restores the record to its original sequence while adding four live performances that first appeared on Duke Ellington and The Buck Clayton All Stars At Newport (a companion album released in 1956).
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Donald Byrd - I'm Tryin' To Get Home (1965/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Donald Byrd
Title: I'm Tryin' To Get Home
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Post Bop, Smooth Jazz, Modal, Trumpet Jazz
Label: © Blue Note Records
Release Date: 1965 (BLP 4188/BST 84188)/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:37:12
Recorded: December 17 (#1,3,5) & 18 (#2,4,6), 1964 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

I'm Tryin' to Get Home is an album by American trumpeter Donald Byrd featuring performances by Byrd with a large brass section and vocalists recorded in 1964 and released on the Blue Note label in 1965 as BLP 4188.

A follow-up to trumpeter Donald Byrd's hit A New Perspective, this LP also features an eight-voice choir conducted by Coleridge Perkinson and arrangements by Duke Pearson and the leader. The vocalists have a larger role than in the earlier date and Byrd's quintet (with tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and pianist Herbie Hancock) is augmented by organist Freddie Roach, guitarist Grant Green and a dozen brass players. But despite some strong moments, the date (which resulted in no real hits) does not quite reach the heights of A New Perspective although it has plenty of interesting moments. --Scott Yanow
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Donald Byrd - Byrd In Flight (1960/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Donald Byrd
Title: Byrd In Flight
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Latin Jazz, Trumpet Jazz
Label: © Blue Note Records
Release Date: 1960 (BLP 4048/BST 84048)/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:39:42
Recorded: January 17 (#3), January 25 (#1,4) and July 10 (#2,5,6) 1960 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.


By the time of this fourth Blue Note album by trumpeter Donald Byrd, it became clear that his playing was becoming stronger with the passing of time. This album features separate studio sessions from January and July of 1960 with constants Duke Pearson on piano and drummer Lex Humphries. Bassists Doug Watkins and Reggie Workman split duties six tracks to three, as do tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley and alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, making for some interesting sonic combinations, although Byrd is the dominant voice. Several of these selections are penned by Byrd, but it is pianist Pearson who contributes four of the most potent compositions on Byrd in Flight, supplying the wings for these quintet recordings to take off with. Of the Pearson originals, "Gate City," with Mobley, is an attractive soul shuffle with a basic tandem line played one time through; "Bo," with Byrd and McLean, is a singing, easy blues; and "My Girl Shirl" is an all-Byrd-led bopper with McLean in late and a brief Latin break. Byrd's "Ghana," dedicated to that country's liberation, is not so much Afrocentric as it is a hip modal Afro-Cuban to hard bop streaker in an assertive tone. "Lex" is typical hard bop fare, with the tenor saxophonist and trumpeter going to town, while a supreme version of the ballad standard "Little Boy Blue" has the ever present Pearson and Byrd in slow musical repast about lost opportunities, primed by the sultry bass playing of Workman. Three extra tracks are included on the CD with Watkins and Mobley, including another Pearson original, "Child's Play," which moves from simple to rambling; the ballad of Byrd's "Carol," where Mobley's hesitant and heart-stopping tenor plays the part to the hilt; and the catwalk blues "Soulful Kiddy" in a puckish (as described by liner note author Nat Hentoff), sly, and coy manner. Given the split-decision nature of the two bands, and because it's nigh impossible to pick a favorite between the soulful Mobley and the more shrill McLean, listeners will have to decide if they can happily live with both versions of the group on one CD, or hear more via other recordings apart from this seminal recording Donald Byrd hath wrought. Either way, the lover of hard bop to post-bop wins in the end. --Michael G. Nastos
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Donald Byrd - Blackjack (1967/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Donald Byrd
Title: Blackjack
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Soul-Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Modal, Trumpet Jazz
Label: © Blue Note Records
Release Date: 1967 (BLP 4259/BST 84259)/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:35:51
Recorded: January 9, 1967 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

One of three Donald Byrd albums from 1967 (the end of his hard bop period), this recording features the trumpeter/leader with altoist Sonny Red, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Walter Booker, and drummer Billy Higgins. The six tunes (five of which are originals by Byrd or Red) are all quite obscure and to one extent or another quite explorative. One can sense that Byrd wanted to break through the boundaries and rules of hard bop but had not yet decided on his future directions. The music does swing and highlights include "West of the Pecos" and "Beale Street"; Byrd and Red in particular are in excellent form throughout the date. --Scott Yanow
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Donald Byrd - Black Byrd (1973/2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Donald Byrd
Title: Black Byrd
Genre: Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Trumpet Jazz
Label: © Blue Note Records
Release Date: 1973/2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 43:15
Recorded: Tracks 1 & 4, recorded at the Sound Factory, Los Angeles, California, on April 3rd & 4th, 1972. Tracks 2, 3, & 5 to 7, recorded the Sound Factory, Los Angeles, California, on November 24th, 1972.

Black Byrd is the pivotal 1973 masterpiece by jazz legend Donald Byrd. This monumental album presented Byrd’s acclaimed brand of fusion. Black Byrd is one of Blue Note’s bestselling albums of all time and highlights Byrd’s undeniable knack for sound. It reached #1 on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums and #2 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums. It features the thrilling self-titled single, which reached the Top Twenty on Billboard’s Top R&B Singles.
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Donald Byrd - At The Half Note Cafe, Vol. 2 (1960/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Donald Byrd
Title: At The Half Note Cafe, Vol. 2
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Trumpet Jazz
Label: © Blue Note Records
Release Date: 1960 (BLP 4061/BST 84061)/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:37:34
Recorded live at the Half Note Cafe, New York City on November 11, 1960.

Guardian jazz critic John Fordham, declared in 2004 this album is not an essential, exactly, but an interesting glimpse of a jazz might-have-been. AllMusic say: "This is one of the most essential hard bop purchases in the canon. The performances of Pearson showcase his improvisational acumen at its height. His soloing on studio records pales in comparison. This was a hot quintet, one that not only swung hard, but possessed a deep lyricism and an astonishing sense of timing, and one need only this set by them to feel the full measure of their worth."
I say amen to that. AllMusic has my vote, Guardian, go stand in the corner, wrong again. This quintet swings without mercy. Pepper Adams had been a regular collaborator with Byrd in the late Fifties, recording together for Blue Note on Byrd in Hand back in 1957. For some time after Byrd had been working with Jackie McLean and Hank Mobley, but in late 1960, Adams reappeared with Pearson and a new rhythm section, in form of the new quintet. Van Gelder plunges you into the front row again, and you get a sense of what it must have been like in the presence of the New Donald Byrd Quintet, especially the irrepressible angry-buzzing of Pepper Adams baritone paired with Byrd’s bright upper register and mercurial phrasing, a perfect combination and refreshing change from tenor-driven standard bop fare.
These two-volume live Blue Note club dates, like the Blakey Café Bohemia and at the Corner of the Jazz World sessions, are an awe-inspiring experience, offering an immersive evening-in the likes of which many of us will never otherwise enjoy in the flesh. Add to the list the Riverside Village Vanguard sessions of Bill Evans, Miles Davis at the Plugged Nickel and at the Blackhawk, Shelley Manne at the Manhole, Thelonious Monk’s Europen Tour, Newport Festival, there really ought to be an LJC Poll of “Your favourite Live Jazz Recordings” but I feel inadequate to compile the right candidate list. If any of you feel you can offer some suggestions I will put a Poll together, on the theme of “What would be on your list of the greatest live jazz recordings?”
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Donald Byrd - At The Half Note Cafe, Vol. 1 (1960/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Donald Byrd
Title: At The Half Note Cafe, Vol. 1
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Trumpet Jazz
Label: © Blue Note Records
Release Date: 1960 (BLP 4060/BST 84060)/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:43:38
Recorded live at the Half Note Cafe, New York City on November 11, 1960.

Guardian jazz critic John Fordham, declared in 2004 this album is not an essential, exactly, but an interesting glimpse of a jazz might-have-been. AllMusic say: "This is one of the most essential hard bop purchases in the canon. The performances of Pearson showcase his improvisational acumen at its height. His soloing on studio records pales in comparison. This was a hot quintet, one that not only swung hard, but possessed a deep lyricism and an astonishing sense of timing, and one need only this set by them to feel the full measure of their worth."
I say amen to that. AllMusic has my vote, Guardian, go stand in the corner, wrong again. This quintet swings without mercy. Pepper Adams had been a regular collaborator with Byrd in the late Fifties, recording together for Blue Note on Byrd in Hand back in 1957. For some time after Byrd had been working with Jackie McLean and Hank Mobley, but in late 1960, Adams reappeared with Pearson and a new rhythm section, in form of the new quintet. Van Gelder plunges you into the front row again, and you get a sense of what it must have been like in the presence of the New Donald Byrd Quintet, especially the irrepressible angry-buzzing of Pepper Adams baritone paired with Byrd’s bright upper register and mercurial phrasing, a perfect combination and refreshing change from tenor-driven standard bop fare.
These two-volume live Blue Note club dates, like the Blakey Café Bohemia and at the Corner of the Jazz World sessions, are an awe-inspiring experience, offering an immersive evening-in the likes of which many of us will never otherwise enjoy in the flesh. Add to the list the Riverside Village Vanguard sessions of Bill Evans, Miles Davis at the Plugged Nickel and at the Blackhawk, Shelley Manne at the Manhole, Thelonious Monk’s Europen Tour, Newport Festival, there really ought to be an LJC Poll of “Your favourite Live Jazz Recordings” but I feel inadequate to compile the right candidate list. If any of you feel you can offer some suggestions I will put a Poll together, on the theme of “What would be on your list of the greatest live jazz recordings?”
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Donald Byrd - A New Perspective (1963/2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Donald Byrd
Title: A New Perspective
Genre: Jazz, Soul-Jazz, Hard Bop
Label: © Blue Note Records | Originally issued as BST 84124 and BLP 4124.
Release Date: 1963/2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 40:54
Recorded on January 12, 1963 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
Exclusive PDF booklet included.

This unusual set (reissued on CD by Blue Note) was one of the most successful uses of a gospel choir in a jazz context. Trumpeter Donald Byrd and a septet that also includes tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and pianist Herbie Hancock are joined by an eight-voice choir directed by Coleridge Perkinson. The arrangements by Duke Pearson are masterful and one song, "Cristo Redentor," became a bit of a hit. This is a memorable effort that is innovative in its own way, a milestone in Donald Byrd's career. —Scott Yanow
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