Trumpeter Donald Byrd was just two years into his two-decade Blue Note recording career when he brought his quintet to Manhattan’s Half Note Café in November 1960 to record this soulful, swinging and highly entertaining live set of hard bop featuring Pepper Adams on baritone saxophone, Duke Pearson on piano, Laymon Jackson on bass and Lex Humphries on drums. Byrd had already established himself as one of the leading trumpeters on the scene and was on a wave of creative success that produced the studio albums Off To The Races, Byrd In Hand, Fuego, and Byrd In Flight. After an introduction by WOV disc jockey Ruth Mason (who would later become Ruth Lion, wife of Blue Note founder Alfred Lion), the band kicks off with Pearson’s up-tempo tune “My Girl Shirl” before segueing into Byrd’s blues “Soulful Kiddy. Side 2 begins with the beautiful ballad “A Portrait of Jennie” before another original blues by Byrd entitled “Cecile” unfolds and Volume 1 closes with the band’s theme “Pure D. Funk.”
Blue Note Tone Poet Series
The Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series grew out of Blue Note President Don Was’ admiration for the exceptional Blue Note audiophile LP reissues presented by Music Matters. Was brought Joe Harley, aka “Tone Poet,” on board to curate and oversee a series of Blue Note label reissues.
There has been extreme attention to detail to get these reissues right in every conceivable way, from the cover graphics and print quality, to the superb LP mastering (directly from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray, to the superb audiophile 180g LP pressings by Record Technology Inc. Every aspect of these Tone Poet releases is executed to the highest possible standard. This means you will never find a better version. This is IT.
This stereo Tone Poet vinyl edition was produced by Joe Harley, mastered by Kevin Gray (Cohearent Audio) from the original analog master tapes, pressed on 180g vinyl at Record Technology Inc (RTI) and packaged in a deluxe gatefold tip-on jacket.