Donald Byrd | Free Form [Blue Note, 1961]As the story goes Herbie Hancock entered the ‘room’ the big leagues through Donald Byrd. He knew of Herbie when he was going to college (U.of Chicago?), and they needed a fill in, in Chicago one night, and the rest is history. Donald has four originals, and Herbie contributes two of his own.
This is classic stuff. With Herbie, Butch Warren, and the ‘house’ Blue Note regular Billy Higgins, and Shorter and Byrd. featuring! Higgins is on fire, poppin. There is a nice balance throughout the set. Byrd plays superbly on Herbie Hancock’s ‘Night Flower‘. On ‘French Spice‘ Wayne puts down one of the finest solos I can think of during his tenure at Blue Note.And ‘NAI NAI’a tune written by Byrd you should reserve for when you want to pick your spirits up. Yeh,life is good! All this and more welcome you in the room for some vintage music. Enjoy folks! — Brian D. Fitzpatrick