Donald Byrd

On the cover Byrd is surrounded by a kind of aureola to distinguish him from the dark, flattened background. It's hard to get a nice picture from this cover let me tell you.

It is not hard to enjoy this album, given you are in for some adventure. Two long funky jams who serve as magic carpet ride for soloing escapades and 'Jamie': a short, more melodic oriented piece. The album marks a point in time where jazz was searching for ways to define itself in a new era. An era where soul, funk and rock were at the forefront of music business. Thoughts go out to fellow trumpetist Miles Davis, equally exploring new possibilities along the way during those late sixties/early seventies.

Considered to be not that outstanding as previous albums of Byrd this remains a great album. Remarkably to me is the presence of Joe Sample and Wilton Felder from the popular group The Jazz Crusaders aka The Crusaders. Byrd's output has been extensively sampled by the acid-jazz and hip-hop generation. This one will probably be no exception to that.

Blue Note BST-84380
Recorded at A&M Studios August 25th & 26th, 1971

A side:

  1. The Emperor
  2. Jamie

B side:

  1. The Little Rasti
Donald Byrd Ethiopian Knights album cover