Donald Byrd – Kofi (Blue Note) (1969)

From presentation, to artist roster, to volume, Blue Note records has a prestigious reputation when it comes to Jazz, and during the 60s and 70s, Donald Byrd was a heavy hitter on the famed label. As many Hip Hop enthusiasts know, Donald Byrd was a forefather of fusion jazz in the 70’s along with Roy Ayers, Weather Report, and a few others. Donald Byrd’s 70’s sound was very much R&B as well as disco infused (which can certainly be heard in The Blackbyrd, a group in which he formed), as the Mizell Brothers coined their signature sound that can still be heard in many forms of music today. This particular Donald Byrd album entitled Kofi was recorded in 1969, which can be considered a transitional period for Byrd, as each song reflects different stages in Jazz. Songs such as Fufu are more on the abstract side, where as Perpetual Love contains the then new sound of an electric piano, and Elmina and The Loud Minority have more of the upbeat, funky backbone that can be heard throughout Donald Byrd’s career. This album represents a wide range of Jazz music, and was recorded during a transitional period in not only jazz, but in all forms of music. Kofi was a window into the future, and a history lesson at the same time.
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Personnel includes:
Bass – Ron Carter, Bass (Electric) – Bob Cranshaw (tracks: 1, 2), Drums – Airto, Mickey Roker (tracks: 3, 4), Flute, Saxophone – Lew Tabackin (tracks: 1, 2), Guitar – Wally Richardson (tracks: 3, 4), Percussion – Airto (tracks: 3, 4), Dom Um Romao (tracks: 3, 4), Piano [Electric] – Duke Pearson, Saxophone [Tenor] – Frank Foster
Trombone – Bill Campbell (tracks: A1, A2), Trumpet – Donald Byrd

written by: Haylow

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