|Birth name||Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II|
|Born||December 9, 1932|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||February 4, 2013 80) (aged|
|Genres||Jazz, funk, jazz-funk, soul, R&B|
|Instruments||Trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals|
|Labels||Blue Note, Prestige, Verve, Columbia, Transition|
|Associated acts||Pepper Adams, Gigi Gryce, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Dexter Gordon, The Blackbyrds|
|Education|| Wayne State University (B.A.) |
Manhattan School of Music
Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II (December 9, 1932 – February 4, 2013) was an American jazz and rhythm & blues trumpeter and vocalist. 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. As a bandleader, Byrd was an influence on the early career of Herbie Hancock.
Byrd attended Cass Technical High School. He performed with Lionel Hampton before finishing high school. 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. While still at the Manhattan School, he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, as the successor to Clifford Brown. In 1955, he recorded with Gigi Gryce, Jackie McLean and Mal Waldron. 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.
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 .
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. 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
He was the first person to let me be a permanent member of an internationally known band. He has always nurtured and encouraged young musicians. He's a born educator, it seems to be in his blood, and he really tried to encourage the development of creativity.
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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
In June 1964, Byrd played with Eric Dolphy in Paris just two weeks before Dolphy died from insulin shock.
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. 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. 19 on Billboard′s R&B chart and reached the Hot 100 pop chart, peaking at No. 88. 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. Most of the material for the albums was written by Larry Mizell.The title track climbed to No.
In 1973, he helped to establish and co-produce the Blackbyrds, a fusion group consisting of then-student musicians from Howard University, 19 pop), "Walking in Rhythm" (No. 4 R&B, No. 6 pop) and "Rock Creek Park".where Byrd taught in the music department and earned his J.D. in 1976. They scored several major hits including "Happy Music" (No. 3 R&B, No.
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". They recorded three albums; Love Byrd and Words, Sounds, Colors and Shapes featured Isaac Hayes. 41 on the charts."Love Has Come Around" on Love Byrd became a disco hit, reaching number No. 4 on Billboard's U.S. Dance Club Songs and in the UK and reached No.
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.Byrd returned to somewhat straight-ahead jazz later in his career, recording three albums for Orrin Keepnews' Landmark Records.
Byrd was a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey.He died on February 4, 2013 in Dover, Delaware, at age 80.
These are the year of recording (and release year where different).
With Ahmad Jamal
With Al Grey
With Art Blakey
With Art Farmer
With Art Taylor
'With Bunky Green
With Cal Tjader
With Cannonball Adderley
With Chris Connor
With Dexter Gordon
With Dizzy Reece
With Doug Watkins
With Duke Pearson
With Elmo Hope
With Ernie Wilkins
With Eric Dolphy
With Gene Ammons
With Gene Harris
With George Wallington
With Gigi Gryce
With Hank Jones
With Hank Mobley
With Herbie Hancock
With Horace Silver
With Jackie McLean
With Jimmy Smith
With Jimmy Heath
With Jim Timmens
With John Coltrane
With Johnny Griffin
With Kenny Burrell
With Kenny Clarke
With Kenny Drew
With Lou Donaldson
With Manny Albam/Teo Macero
With Michel Legrand
With Mundell Lowe
With Oscar Pettiford
With Pepper Adams
With Paul Chambers
With Phil Woods
With Red Garland
With Rita Reys and The Jazz Messengers
With Sam Rivers
With Solomon Ilori
With Sonny Clark
With Sonny Rollins
With Stanley Turrentine
With Thelonious Monk
With Walter Davis Jr.
With Wes Montgomery
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