This amazing album is the product of six full-time Howard University students taking the direction of department head and jazz great Donald Byrd into the Fantasy Studios along with the aid of production wizard Larry Mizell. The result is some of the finest groove-oriented jazz music ever recorded. The rhythm section of Joe Hall on bass and Keith Killgo on drums provides a tight foundation for the Blackbyrds to enhance any dancefloor with their soulful explorations. With Kevin Toney supplying beautiful keyboard work and Barney Perry hitting listeners up with his chicken-scratch guitar, the skeletal framework for what could be called optimistic funk was firmly established by this debut record. Recommended songs include "Do It, Fluid," "Reggins," and "Summer Love," although the overall consistency of quality tracks on The Blackbyrds is reason enough to give the album a complete listen.
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AllMusic Review by Robert Gabriel