Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Byrd Songs

Places and Spaces
All the Places
Rock Creek Park
Ghetto Thang
Where Are We Going?

I can't stop listening to this!! And there's no better way to cure a sonic addiction than to post it on the 'Spill. First up, we have my current obsession, Places and Spaces by Donald Byrd. Second, a song that samples it by another obsession, Pete Rock and CL Smooth. Followed by Rock Creek Park--Donald Byrd again, and De La Soul's song Ghetto Thang, that samples it. Finally Where are We Going, by Donald Bird, which could have fit my flute OR my trumpet list, I do believe.

Actually, this also ties in with something May1366 asked on the mothership, about whether anybody has discovered jazz because of hip hop. I still am!! Just the other week I acquired some Cannonball Adderly, thanks to Pete Rock and Nilpferd, and now I'm quite obsessed with Donald Byrd. Does anyone know anything about him? I wikied, and apparently he taught at my alma mater, so now I'm more curious than ever.


DaddyPig said...

Thanks for this and for reminding me about the little I know. Which is: A gorgeous track called "Christo Redentor" (you get languages too !) from the album "A New Perspective", which must've been the first 'Blue Note' music I ever heard. My bestest friend had it and played it a lot when we were 16 or 17 or so. The album cover has a splendid car picture too.

It's part of an exceedingly cool playlist on last.fm http://www.last.fm/music/Donald+Byrd/_/Christo+Redentor

(This might not post as a link, but should 'copy and paste' into the 'address bar' ??) ...and it's on youtube as well.

steenbeck said...

Thanks for listening DaddyPig, and thanks for the link. Why didn't I think of looking on LastFM?

DaddyPig said...

There's so much 'out there' that it's nice to have conversations first sometimes. Otherwise, by the time one finds the beautiful music on-line, the eyes and brain are all befuddled from browsing and searching and the frustrating ways computers can behave.

I'm the opposite of discovering jazz through hip-hop, I started off sceptical of hip-hop and what it could add by sampling the blues, jazz and soul I often (though not always) already knew. Still working on that one, but I'm more appreciative and broad-minded than I used to be !

May1366 said...

steenbeck, Professor Donald Byrd indeed taught at a number of institutions, including Howard University. I think I'm right in saying that The Blackbyrds, whom you have on the tracks posted, were the school band at Howard, and they created an absolutely magestic stream of jazz-funk tunes. I've also been particularly captured by 'Places and Spaces' recently so your post is doubly pleasing - and 'Cristo Redentor' is another favourite from Byrd's Blue Note days. And, back with the Blackbyrds, I've got to recommened Dominoes. Here (I hope) is the last.fm link:


His earlier stuff is very cool as well - he first came to attention as a trumpeter for Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers which, for those who don't know, was the Doctor Who of post-war jazz, constantly regenerating over some 40 years and always breaking young musicians who'd go on to become legendary (incidentally including the Marsalis brothers of this week's discussion). Byrd was a wonderful trumpeter but it was the way he challenged boundaries as a composer and bandleader that really distinguishes his career.

Thanks for responding to my airy question about discovering jazz via hip-hop - it's all feeding into thoughts I'm having, and may blog on shortly, about how we look back at the music and musicians we discovered back then and love now, or alternatively loved back then but can't be bothered with now, and I guess the narratives we place on the way our tastes have developed.

steenbeck said...

I listened to Dominoes earlier today, and did like it very much indeed. I was interested to learn that Byrd had fallen out of fashion, and that his popularity with Hip Hop DJs, especially the stuff he produced in the 70s was bringing him back to public awareness. I love the idea of learning from hip hop; I guess in part because it seems that so many people see it as devoid of value.

I love to find connections in music, within genres and between genres, which I suppose is another reason that hip hop (which is so collaborative) and sampling appeal to me. In terms of my own taste changing, I would have to give some credit to the internet, which helps me trace those connections. I probably spend too much time geeking out on this stuff, but I do get genuinely excited about it. I think I used to listen to music more as a discrete work of art, which wasn't such a bad way to hear things, either. Actually RR, and being exposed to people with such diverse tastes has opened up my world as well.

nilpferd said...

There's the classic steppin' into tomorrow, from 1975-
Think twice is also good..

Guru invited him to play on Jazzmatazz-

steenbeck said...

Thanks Nilpferd.

I think I picked the wrong part of the lemongrass. Still tasted okay, because of the vast quantities of basil and cilantro, but the lemongrass leaves were like little splinters. Ah, well...

I found this interesting, because of the discussion of who samples Miles Davis on the mother ship... Apparently Davis himself samples Byrd!

Valma & Colin said...

Two useful things about lemongrass I have read: first, bruise it to release the flavour (bash it with the flat of a wide cleaver, or something blunt, before chopping) and secondly chop it very fine as the leaves don't soften during cooking. A small, finely chopped amount of the green part of the leaf, added at the end, freshens the flavour.
The mix for High speed chase was put together by (from memory) Easy mo Bee, does sound like it came from Street Lady. Miles' input on that album was restricted to his solos, the backing was added in later, as Doo Bop was released after his death. So he might not have heard the Byrd-like backing; I suspect he wouldn't have approved of it.

nilpferd said...

Whoops, that last comment was mine; I forgot to change the user name after our visitors..

steenbeck said...

Oh dear, if he wouldn't have approved I feel a little guilty for liking it. But I did.

I have a bunch of lemongrass left, and the bruising and fine chopping makes sense...I'll try again.

ejaydee said...

Late to this party, but I wish Boxstr was playing tonight. You might want to check out Do It, Fluid and Mother/Son Bedroom Talk by the Blackbyrds, and Weasil by Donald himself. But mostly donds for Think Twice and Stepping Into Tomorrow.

steenbeck said...

BEtter late than never. Listen to Where are we Going next to Cymande's Changes. Nice together, no? What would that playlist be? Very Sweet examinations of existential questions?

steenbeck said...

Just added Changes, because I think they sound so nice together.