Wednesday, February 13, 2013

RIP Dr. Donald Byrd

Dr. Donald Byrd
Born Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II

One of the last great jazz men. Trumpet great, composer, producer, mentor, educator and National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master. Dr. Byrd's career spanned 60 years and covered a range of styles. He made a mark in traditional jazz, fusion/contemporary, Soul/R&B, funk & Hip Hop. He left behind an impressive catalog of music. His greatest gift may be that he basically gave us Herbie Hancock.

Excerpt from MSN:
He teamed up with the Mizell brothers to release "Black Byrd" in 1973, a blend of jazz, R&B and funk that became Blue Note's highest-selling album at the time. Jazz critics panned Byrd for deviating from the jazz mainstream, but he was unperturbed. "I'm creative; I'm not re-creative," Byrd told the Detroit Free Press in a 1999 interview. "I don't follow what everybody else does."
For the past week I have been looking for a quote that encapsulates the style and musical approach of Dr. Byrd. The comment above captures Byrd perfectly.

See partial bio from NEA.

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