Trumpeter Donald Byrd and baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams worked together on several recordings between 1958 and 1961, and The Cat Walk (released on LP in 1962) is among the best. A quintet setting, with pianist Duke Pearson (another longtime Byrd collaborator), bassist Laymon Jackson, and a lively Philly Joe Jones on drums joining the front line of Byrd and Adams, the sessions for The Cat Walk benefited from the writing and arrangement skills of Pearson, who contributes three compositions here, the impressive opener "Say You're Mine," "Duke's Mixture"…
Reissue features the latest DSD / HR Cutting remastering and the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player). Comes with a description. Features the original LP designs. For this early hard bop date, altoist Phil Woods and trumpeter Donald Byrd were co-leaders. In fact, the music had at one point earlier on been released with Byrd getting first billing. Since the spirited altoist contributed four of the six tunes (including "House of Chan" and "In Walked George") and consistently takes solo honors, it is only right that the date finally appeared under Woods' name. With pianist Al Haig (who did not record that extensively during this period), bassist Teddy Kotick, and drummer Charlie Persip offering stimulating accompaniment, this is an easily recommended release (despite its brief LP length) for straight-ahead jazz collectors.
Given the long period of time that Donald Byrd recorded for Blue Note (from the 1950s through the mid-'70s), it seems more than a little disingenuous to refer to the relatively brief period he spent with the Mizell Brothers as his producers, arrangers, and composers in the '70s as his best work. It is true that it was his most commercially viable period, and that many of the cuts he recorded with them ~ AllMusic
Centered around the Byrd/Adams Blue Note dates Byrd in Hand, Chant, Royal Flush, The Cat Walk, and Off to the Races, Mosaic's Complete Blue Note Donald Byrd/Pepper Adams Studio Sessions finds the Detroit natives at the top of their game during 1959-1962. Writing and performing some of the most original and tight hard bop around, Byrd and Adams led a variety of combos that featured the likes of Herbie Hancock (his first session), Wynton Kelly, Duke Pearson (who also contributed material), Charlie Rouse, Sam Jones, and Billy Higgins. From distinct covers ("Lover Come Back to Me") to seamlessly complex originals ("Bronze Dance"), Byrd's pure-toned trumpet and Adams' angular baritone unexpectedly make a perfect match. And beyond a wealth of sides that prove the point, the collection also features – in typically thorough and classy Mosaic fashion – some stunning session photos by Blue Note lensman Francis Wolff and an extensive essay by Bob Blumenthal. A hard bop experience of the highest order.
Trumpeter Donald Byrd spent a few months in France in 1958, and a Paris concert resulted in two LPs' worth of material. Byrd's quintet at the time included Bobby Jaspar (on tenor and flute), pianist Walter Davis, Jr., bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor. Byrd was just beginning to find his own sound in the late '50s and he is in excellent form on "Dear Old Stockholm," Sonny Rollins' "Paul's Pal," Jaspar's "Flute Blues," "Ray's Idea," and "The Blues Walk." This is a fine all-around hard bop session.
This is an unusual recording of William Byrd's choral music for several reasons. First, it involves the Great Service, an Anglican work (nobody's first choice with the Catholic Byrd), and an amorphous and not terribly often recorded one at that. Second, the singers of Musica Contexta perform with a hypothesized period English pronunciation that may well be authentic but takes a bit of getting used to. The Service is filled out with organ versions of Byrd motets in an attempt to give it not its original form, but at least something of the flow it would have had in performance.
Timeless Donald Byrd combines most of the trumpeter's 1955 Savoy session Byrd's Word and two tracks from alto saxophonist John Jenkins' 1957 Savoy release Jazz Eyes. Both albums are solid examples of mid-'50s mainstream jazz and represent both artists well. Given that these albums go in and out of print, the Timeless compilations are welcome additions to the artists' catalogs, though diehards will still want to seek out the original albums.