Donald Byrd

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This article is about the late American jazz trumpeter. Donald Byrd_sentence_0

For the American choreographer, see Donald Byrd (choreographer). Donald Byrd_sentence_1

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Dr. Donald ByrdDonald Byrd_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationDonald Byrd_header_cell_0_1_0
Birth nameDonald Byrd_header_cell_0_2_0 Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd IIDonald Byrd_cell_0_2_1
BornDonald Byrd_header_cell_0_3_0 (1932-12-09)December 9, 1932

Detroit, Michigan, U.S.Donald Byrd_cell_0_3_1

DiedDonald Byrd_header_cell_0_4_0 February 4, 2013(2013-02-04) (aged 80)

Dover, DelawareDonald Byrd_cell_0_4_1

GenresDonald Byrd_header_cell_0_5_0 Jazz, funk, jazz-funk, soul, R&BDonald Byrd_cell_0_5_1
Occupation(s)Donald Byrd_header_cell_0_6_0 MusicianDonald Byrd_cell_0_6_1
InstrumentsDonald Byrd_header_cell_0_7_0 Trumpet, flugelhorn, vocalsDonald Byrd_cell_0_7_1
Years activeDonald Byrd_header_cell_0_8_0 1954–2013Donald Byrd_cell_0_8_1
LabelsDonald Byrd_header_cell_0_9_0 Blue Note, Prestige, Verve, Columbia, TransitionDonald Byrd_cell_0_9_1
Associated actsDonald Byrd_header_cell_0_10_0 Pepper Adams, Gigi Gryce, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Dexter Gordon, The BlackbyrdsDonald Byrd_cell_0_10_1

Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II (December 9, 1932 – February 4, 2013) was an American jazz and rhythm & blues trumpeter and vocalist. Donald Byrd_sentence_2

A sideman for many other jazz musicians of his generation, Byrd was known as one of the rare bebop jazz musicians who successfully explored funk and soul while remaining a jazz artist. Donald Byrd_sentence_3

As a bandleader, Byrd was an influence on the early career of Herbie Hancock. Donald Byrd_sentence_4

Biography Donald Byrd_section_0

Early life and career Donald Byrd_section_1

Byrd attended Cass Technical High School. Donald Byrd_sentence_5

He performed with Lionel Hampton before finishing high school. Donald Byrd_sentence_6

After playing in a military band during a term in the United States Air Force, Byrd obtained a bachelor's degree in music from Wayne State University and a master's degree from Manhattan School of Music. Donald Byrd_sentence_7

While still at the Manhattan School, he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, as the successor to Clifford Brown. Donald Byrd_sentence_8

In 1955, he recorded with Gigi Gryce, Jackie McLean and Mal Waldron. Donald Byrd_sentence_9

After leaving the Jazz Messengers in 1956, he performed with many leading jazz musicians of the day, including John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, and later Herbie Hancock. Donald Byrd_sentence_10

Byrd's first regular group was a quintet that he co-led from 1958 to 1961 with baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, an ensemble whose hard-driving performances are captured "live" on At the Half Note Cafe. Donald Byrd_sentence_11

Byrd's 1961 LP Royal Flush marked the Blue Note debut of Hancock, who came to further attention with Byrd's successful 1962 album Free Form, and these albums also featured the first recordings of Hancock's original compositions. Donald Byrd_sentence_12

Hancock has credited Byrd as a key influence in his early career, recounting that he took the young pianist "under his wings" when he was a struggling musician newly arrived in New York, even letting him sleep on a hide-a-bed in his Bronx apartment for several years Donald Byrd_sentence_13

Hancock also recalled that Byrd helped him in many other ways: he encouraged Hancock to make his debut album for Blue Note, connected him with Mongo Santamaria, who turned Hancock's tune "Watermelon Man" into a chart-topping hit, and that Byrd also later urged him to accept Miles Davis' offer to join his quintet. Donald Byrd_sentence_14

Hancock also credits Byrd with giving him one of the most important pieces of advice of his career – not to give away his publishing rights. Donald Byrd_sentence_15

When Blue Note offered Hancock the chance to record his first solo LP, label executives tried to convince him to relinquish his publishing in exchange for being able to record the album, but he stuck to Byrd's advice and refused, so the meeting came to an impasse. Donald Byrd_sentence_16

At this point, he stood up to leave and when it became clear that he was about to walk out, the executives relented and allowed him to retain his publishing. Donald Byrd_sentence_17

Thanks to Santamaria's subsequent hit cover version of "Watermelon Man", Hancock was soon receiving substantial royalties, and he used his first royalty check of $3,000 to buy his first car, a 1963 Shelby Cobra (also recommended by Byrd) which Hancock still owns, and which is now the oldest production Cobra still in its original owner's hands. Donald Byrd_sentence_18

In June 1964, Byrd played with Eric Dolphy in Paris just two weeks before Dolphy died from insulin shock. Donald Byrd_sentence_19

Electric Byrd Donald Byrd_section_2

By 1969's Fancy Free, Byrd was moving away from the hard bop jazz idiom and began to record jazz fusion and rhythm and blues. Donald Byrd_sentence_20

He teamed up with the Mizell Brothers (producer-writers Larry and Fonce) for Black Byrd (1973) which was, for many years, Blue Note's best-selling album. Donald Byrd_sentence_21

The title track climbed to No. Donald Byrd_sentence_22

19 on Billboard′s R&B chart and reached the Hot 100 pop chart, peaking at No. Donald Byrd_sentence_23

88. Donald Byrd_sentence_24

The Mizell brothers' follow-up albums for Byrd, Street Lady, Places and Spaces and Stepping into Tomorrow, were also big sellers, and have subsequently provided a rich source of samples for acid jazz artists such as Us3. Donald Byrd_sentence_25

Most of the material for the albums was written by Larry Mizell. Donald Byrd_sentence_26

In 1973, he helped to establish and co-produce the Blackbyrds, a fusion group consisting of then-student musicians from Howard University, where Byrd taught in the music department and earned his J.D. Donald Byrd_sentence_27

in 1976. Donald Byrd_sentence_28

They scored several major hits including "Happy Music" (No. Donald Byrd_sentence_29

3 R&B, No. Donald Byrd_sentence_30

19 pop), "Walking in Rhythm" (No. Donald Byrd_sentence_31

4 R&B, No. Donald Byrd_sentence_32

6 pop) and "Rock Creek Park". Donald Byrd_sentence_33

During his tenure at North Carolina Central University during the 1980s, he formed a group which included students from the college called the "125th St NYC Band". Donald Byrd_sentence_34

They recorded three albums; Love Byrd and Words, Sounds, Colors and Shapes featured Isaac Hayes. Donald Byrd_sentence_35

"Love Has Come Around" on Love Byrd became a disco hit, reaching number No. Donald Byrd_sentence_36

4 on Billboard's U.S. Dance Club Songs and in the UK and reached No. Donald Byrd_sentence_37

41 on the charts. Donald Byrd_sentence_38

Beginning in the 1960s, Byrd (who eventually gained his PhD in music education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1982) taught at a variety of postsecondary institutions, including Rutgers University, the Hampton Institute, New York University, Howard University, Queens College, Oberlin College, Cornell University, North Carolina Central University and Delaware State University. Donald Byrd_sentence_39

Byrd returned to somewhat straight-ahead jazz later in his career, releasing three albums for Orrin Keepnews' Landmark Records. Donald Byrd_sentence_40

Byrd was a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey. Donald Byrd_sentence_41

He died on February 4, 2013 in Dover, Delaware, at age 80. Donald Byrd_sentence_42

Discography Donald Byrd_section_3

As leader Donald Byrd_section_4

These are the year of recording (and release year where different). Donald Byrd_sentence_43

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As sideman Donald Byrd_section_5

With Ahmad Jamal Donald Byrd_sentence_44

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With Al Grey Donald Byrd_sentence_45

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With Art Blakey Donald Byrd_sentence_46

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With Art Farmer Donald Byrd_sentence_47

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With Art Taylor Donald Byrd_sentence_48

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'With Bunky Green Donald Byrd_sentence_49

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  • My Babe (Vee-Jay, 1960 )Donald Byrd_item_6_51

With Cal Tjader Donald Byrd_sentence_50

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With Cannonball Adderley Donald Byrd_sentence_51

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With Chris Connor Donald Byrd_sentence_52

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  • 1959 Ballads of the Sad CafeDonald Byrd_item_9_54

With Dexter Gordon Donald Byrd_sentence_53

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  • 1964 One Flight Up (Blue Note)Donald Byrd_item_10_55
  • 1965 Ladybird (SteepleChase)Donald Byrd_item_10_56

With Dizzy Reece Donald Byrd_sentence_54

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With Doug Watkins Donald Byrd_sentence_55

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  • 1956 Watkins at Large (Transition)Donald Byrd_item_12_58

With Duke Pearson Donald Byrd_sentence_56

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  • 1962 Hush! (Jazztime)Donald Byrd_item_13_59
  • 1964 Wahoo! (Blue Note)Donald Byrd_item_13_60

With Elmo Hope Donald Byrd_sentence_57

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With Ernie Wilkins Donald Byrd_sentence_58

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  • 1955 Top Brass (Savoy)Donald Byrd_item_15_62

With Eric Dolphy Donald Byrd_sentence_59

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  • 1964 NaimaDonald Byrd_item_16_63
  • 1964 Last Recordings / Unrealized TapesDonald Byrd_item_16_64

With Gene Ammons Donald Byrd_sentence_60

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With Gene Harris Donald Byrd_sentence_61

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With George Wallington Donald Byrd_sentence_62

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  • 1955 Live at the Bohemia (Progressive, 1955; Prestige, 1970)Donald Byrd_item_19_67
  • 1956 Jazz for the Carriage Trade (Prestige)Donald Byrd_item_19_68
  • 1957 The New York Scene (Prestige)Donald Byrd_item_19_69
  • 1957 Jazz at Hotchkiss (Savoy)Donald Byrd_item_19_70

With Gigi Gryce Donald Byrd_sentence_63

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With Guru Donald Byrd_sentence_64

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With Hank Jones Donald Byrd_sentence_65

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With Hank Mobley Donald Byrd_sentence_66

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With Herbie Hancock Donald Byrd_sentence_67

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With Horace Silver Donald Byrd_sentence_68

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With Jackie McLean Donald Byrd_sentence_69

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With Jimmy Smith Donald Byrd_sentence_70

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With Jimmy Heath Donald Byrd_sentence_71

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  • 1963 Swamp Seed (Riverside)Donald Byrd_item_28_100

With Jim Timmens Donald Byrd_sentence_72

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  • 1958 Gilbert and Sullivan Revisited (Warner Bros.)Donald Byrd_item_29_101

With John Coltrane Donald Byrd_sentence_73

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With Johnny Griffin Donald Byrd_sentence_74

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With Kenny Burrell Donald Byrd_sentence_75

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With Kenny Clarke Donald Byrd_sentence_76

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With Kenny Drew Donald Byrd_sentence_77

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With Lou Donaldson Donald Byrd_sentence_78

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With Manny Albam/Teo Macero Donald Byrd_sentence_79

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  • 1959 Something New, Something BlueDonald Byrd_item_36_115

With Michel Legrand Donald Byrd_sentence_80

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  • 1958 Legrand JazzDonald Byrd_item_37_116

With Mundell Lowe Donald Byrd_sentence_81

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With Oscar Pettiford Donald Byrd_sentence_82

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With Pepper Adams Donald Byrd_sentence_83

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With Paul Chambers Donald Byrd_sentence_84

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With Phil Woods Donald Byrd_sentence_85

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With Red Garland Donald Byrd_sentence_86

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With Rita Reys and The Jazz Messengers Donald Byrd_sentence_87

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With Sam Rivers Donald Byrd_sentence_88

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With Solomon Ilori Donald Byrd_sentence_89

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With Sonny Clark Donald Byrd_sentence_90

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With Sonny Rollins Donald Byrd_sentence_91

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With Stanley Turrentine Donald Byrd_sentence_92

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With Thelonious Monk Donald Byrd_sentence_93

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With Walter Davis Jr. Donald Byrd_sentence_94

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  • 1959 Davis Cup (Blue Note)Donald Byrd_item_51_136

With Wes Montgomery Donald Byrd_sentence_95

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Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald Byrd.