Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Donald Byrd Quintet “Parisian Thoroughfare”

Donald Byrd Quintet

Parisian Thoroughfare
( LP Brunswick Records, 1958 )
Catalog # (F) 87 904
*Reissue on Polydor 833 395-2

Tracklisting :
Salt Peanuts, I
Parisian Thoroughfare
52nd Street Theme
At This Time
Two Bass Hit
Salt Peanuts, II

Personnel :
Donald Byrd, Trumpet
Bobby Jaspar, Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Walter Davis Jr., Piano
Doug Watkins, Bass
Art Taylor, Drums

Recorded Live at “L’Olympia”, Paris, France, October 22, 1958

Recorded at Paris’s Olympia Theatre in October 1958, trumpeter Donald Byrd’s Parisian Thoroughfare is an often exhilarating set whose record debut is most welcome. Then a leading exponent of hard bop, Byrd may have lacked the range and emotional depth of his successors Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan but his pure tone, fleet logic and crackling attack always satisfied. He had a good band too, featuring that undervalued saxophonist Bobby Jaspar, the invariably cogent Walter Davis Jr on piano and the great Doug Watkins and Art Taylor on bass and drums. The only drawback is that it’s all pretty remorseless: despite thoughtful arrangements and an incisive awareness of dynamics, the eight tracks are decidedly one-paced and one longs for a ballad or two to vary mood and texture. However, it could be said that such extrovert relentlessness constitutes the essence of hard bop and that it’s much more sensible to enjoy its many virtues than dwell on its vices. Certainly, there is more than enough here to satisfy lovers of the genre in general and Byrd admirers in particular.
By Richard Palmer (Amazon)

By Rob

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