Donald Byrd & The Blackbyrds “The Jazz Funk Collection” is the first time you have been able to acquire a collection of tracks by these artists on a CD package.
• All tracks on “The Jazz Funk Collection” are either written, produced or performed by Donald Byrd; the collection starts in 1973 around the start of the Jazz Funk era.
• Donald Byrd started recording in the mid-fifties, but by the late-sixties and now on Blue Note Records his style became more electric and was one of the instigators of the Jazz Funk scene. Our package kicks off with ‘Lansana’s Priestess’ from the 1973 album “Street Lady” nearly eight minutes of pure Jazz Funk produced by the legendary Mizell Brothers. Followed by a slew of classic Donald Byrd tracks such as ‘Black Byrd’, ‘Loves So Far Away’ and ‘Flight Time’ to name but a few.
• During the sixties Donald was now teaching Jazz at several Universities including Howard University, this is where he met a few students to start a band with, and the Blackbyrds were formed. The Blackbyrds went on to have a great deal of success and our package kicks off with the ‘Blackbyrds Theme’, but the big success they were to have was with ‘Walking In Rhythm’ which was produced by Donald. ‘Walking In Rhythm’ went on to sell one million copies, and was awarded a Gold Disc and was Grammy nominated, the R&B hits kept on coming with ‘Rock Creek Park’, ‘Time Is Movin’’ and the Top 3 R&B hit ‘Happy Music’ which was written and produced by Donald.
• Donald Byrd was also now making his mark on the R&B chart with ‘Change (Makes You Want To Hustle)’ and ‘Dominoes’ and we have also included the version he recorded for the Blue Note Live at The Roxy album, that was to become the underground club classic.
• The Blackbyrds were to record seven albums for Fantasy Records with Donald involved in the bulk of them either as a producer or as a writer, and we have included some of the club classics such as ‘Supernatural Feeling’ and ‘Street Games’ and as a special bonus track ‘Gut Level’ – the only track that Donald Byrd had no involvement in on this package. But as it is a much sought-after track, we felt we just had to include it as it was produced by the Mizell Brothers, who worked so closely with Donald Byrd.
• In 1978 Donald Byrd moved label to Elektra, and recorded four albums with them, three with the backing Band 125th Street N.Y.C. we have included the funkiest tracks from those four albums including the Top 20 R&B Hit ‘Love Has Come Around’ and the original 12” version of ‘Sexy Dancer’.
• Journalist Charles Waring has written comprehensive sleeve notes for this package, so all in all this is going to be monster, so Donald we would all like to say ‘Thank You For Funking Up My Life’… your legacy lives on.