In 1955, Donald Byrd emerged as a bright new trumpeter, one whose importance soon became obvious. Over the next few years his talents grew month-by-month during periods with George Wallington, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and the Jazz Lab Quintet which he co-led with Gigi Gryce. By 1958 when he signed with the Blue Note label, he was ready to make musical history. Byrd's string of Blue Note recordings during the next decade are all at least excellent but 1959's Byrd In Hand is something special.
Featured with a sextet that includes the great baritonist Pepper Adams and tenor-saxophonist Charlie Rouse (a year before he became an indispensable part of the Thelonious Monk Quartet), Byrd shows how powerful a force he was both as a trumpeter and as a composer. He invigorates the Clifford Brown tradition with his own musical personality, inspires the two competitive saxophonists, and contributes three excellent compositions, all of which deserve to be revived. In addition, the group comes up with memorable statements on "Witchcraft" and two songs by pianist Walter Davis Jr. The music grooves, swings hard and points towards the future. These colorful performance sound as lively, lyrical and hip today as they did a half century ago.
Like all Music Matters Jazz releases, this audiophile vinyl reissue is mastered from the original analog tape and pressed on 180g virgin vinyl at RTI in Camarillo, CA. The highest quality gatefold cover features original session photography on the inside.See more Donald Byrd records here