Donald Byrd

Young Byrd

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This double-LP from 1977 tried to capitalize a bit on trumpeter Donald Byrd's fame. Although reissued under Byrd's name, the two sessions were originally led by baritonist Pepper Adams and altoist Gigi Gryce; both dates have since been reissued under the correct leader's names on CD. The straightahead music is consistently excellent. Byrd and Adams frequently teamed together in the late '50s and in this instance they were fortunate to have pianist Bobby Timmons, bassist Doug Watkins and the young drummer Elvin Jones in their band. The 1957 quintet with Gryce was a regularly working (if short-lived) group that also included pianist Wade Legge, bassist Wendell Marshall and drummer Art Taylor. The emphasis throughout is on obscurities and originals (with "You're My Thrill," "Love for Sale" and "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart!" being the exceptions) and uncomplicated swinging.