Friday, 4 September 2009

Donald Byrd & 125th Street, N.Y.C. ”Love Byrd’

Donald Byrd & 125th Street, N.Y.C.

Love Byrd
( LP Elektra Records, 1981 )
Catalog # 5E-531

A1 Love Has Come Around (7:53)
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Synthesizer [Prophet] – Albert “Chip” Crawford, Jr.
Piano [Acoustic], Synthesizer – Isaac Hayes
Written-By – William Duckett
A2 Butterfly (6:04)
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Albert “Chip” Crawford, Jr.
Piano [Acoustic] – Myra Walker
Vibraphone – Isaac Hayes
Written-By – Andrew Stevens
A3 I Feel Like Loving You Today (6:57)
Piano [Acoustic] – Albert “Chip” Crawford, Jr.
Written-By – Isaac Hayes
B1 I Love Your Love (6:57)
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Albert “Chip” Crawford, Jr.
Piano [Acoustic], Synthesizer, Written-by – Isaac Hayes
Written-By – Aaron Mills , Andrew Stevens , William Duckett
B2 I’ll Always Love You (5:12)
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Albert “Chip” Crawford, Jr.
Piano [Acoustic], Vibraphone – Isaac Hayes
Written-By – Donald Byrd
B3 Love For Sale (6:04)
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Clavinet – Albert “Chip” Crawford, Jr.
Piano [Acoustic] – Isaac Hayes
Written-By – Cole Porter
B4 Falling (2:59)
Piano [Acoustic] – Albert “Chip” Crawford, Jr.
Written-by, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Isaac Hayes

Personnel & Credits:
Artwork By [Art Direction] – Ron Coro
Artwork By [Design] – Kristen Kasell
Artwork By [Illustration] – Charles White
Bass [Electric] – Ronnie Garrett
Conductor, Strings [Arranged By], Horns [Arranged By] – Bill Purse
Drums – Eric Hines
Engineer [Assistant], Engineer [Remixing] – Bret Richardson
Engineer [Mastering] – Glenn Meadows
Engineer [Recording] – Joe Neil
Engineer [Remixing] – Joe Neil
Executive Producer – Carol Campbell , Donald Byrd
Guitar [Electric] – William “Country” Duckett
Horns [Contractor] – Charles Lane
Producer, Engineer [Remixing], Strings [Arranged By], Horns [Arranged By],
Vocals [Arranged By], Vocals [Contractor], Percussion, Vocals – Isaac Hayes
Strings [Contractor] – Peter Bertonlino
Trumpet – Donald Byrd
Vocals – Diane Evans , Diane Williams , 125th Street, N.Y.C. , Pat Lewis , Rose Williams
Vocals [Credited To] – Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited

Produced for East Indies, Inc.
Executive Produced for Bluebyrd Productions, Inc.
Recorded & Mixed At: Master Sound, Atlanta, Georgia
Mastered At: Masterfonics, Nashville, Tennessee
Isaac Hayes appears courtesy of Polygram Records, Inc.
Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: US
Released: 1981

Recorded in 1981 and produced by Isaac Hayes, trumpeter and composer Donald Byrd’s first recording for Elektra is the sound of a musician who has truly lost his way. Byrd’s nearly decade-long collaboration with the Mizell Brothers ended when he left Blue Note for Elektra. It wasn’t so much that Byrd left “jazz” for funk and proto-disco, the latter elements had been part of his sound since 1972 with Black Byrd (some would say the real transition to more R&B based music began before that with Fancy Free in 1965). The period with the Mizells, though decried by jazz critics everywhere as a sellout, was a fertile one for Byrd creatively and married his vision of being a viable and accessible artist, one who sought out the direct experience of soul and funk as a way of getting his music across. It was also a successful one commercially — his albums sold to a wider audience and were played on commercial FM radio. But by the time he went Elektra, Byrd was caught between a rock and a hard place, and this set proves it. With vocals being handled by Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited quartet, and the producer himself playing piano, vibes, Rhodes, and writing, along with Byrd’s 125th Street N.Y.C. Band, there was little left for Byrd to actually do. Hayes’ stamp on this record is thorough. There are some slick but effective soul ballads here, such as the album’s finest moment, “Butterfly” written by Andrew Walker (with beautiful vibes work by Hayes and acoustic piano by Myra Walker, as well as the most prominent work by Byrd’s trumpet); the bandleader’s sole contribution “I’ll Always Love You” is here, along with Hayes’ own “I Feel Like Loving You Today” (a slow-ish, sultry burner). The up-tempo tracks fall flat as funk. There is something canned sounding about most of them, such as William Duckett’s “Love Has Come Around,” which opens with a majestic guitar and piano intro before kicking off the two-note proto-disco vamp and handclap, which makes the track feel empty and cold. The deep funk cover of Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale,” is a bad joke despite some killer clavinet work by Albert Crawford, Jr., and “I Love Your Love,” is more a vamp and a hook than a song. The set ends with another ballad with Hayes’ voice out in front of his Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited. The question here is daunting: where’s Byrd? His playing is simply an accessory to Hayes’ arrangements, and his fills, while present on every cut, never really bite and take hold; they’re just there. Byrd’s artistic vision was cloudy at best when he was with Elektra, and this exercise in blandness is a case in point.
By Thom Jurek (AMG)

Andy’s Note:
This album could easily have been call Love Byrd by Isaac Hayes and Hot Buttered Soul featuring Donald Byrd,
but Byrd takes the credit for a killer album that slips into a smooth groove,more of Byrds Trumpet would have been nice but a great comeback album for Byrd and Hayes,recommended.

By Andy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

no pw

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