For all intents and purposes, a Jazz Messengers session issued under Donald Byrd's name, Byrd's Eye View, captures the young trumpeter in full command of his estimable powers -- the visceral intensity of this music is remarkable, galvanized by the typically stellar playing of drummer Art Blakey, pianist Horace Silver, tenorist Hank Mobley, and bassist Doug Watkins. Fellow trumpeter Joe Gordon pushes Byrd to new extremes -- his solos are as physical as a heavyweight boxer yet as graceful as a ballerina. And despite the length and scope of the tracks, Byrd remains in complete control, performing with an authority and technical prowess that belie his age. An excellent hard bop date most readily available via the 2002 Blue Note reissue The Transition Sessions.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny