Slow Drag Review: Donald Byrd

Donald Byrd

The late Donald Byrd is one of my favorite trumpeters. His arrival on the adult jazz scene coincided with the rise of juvenile Pop so he never got the recognition that the earlier trumpeter Miles Davis (an inferior player) received. I recommend Byrd’s recording of “Books Bossa” from the album “Slow Drag” 1967. This sly, understated melody over a boss/samba beat is a fine fusion of modern jazz and Brazilian rhythm. Like much worthwhile music it requires several listens. There are nice solos by Byrd and alto saxophonist Sonny Red. The melody was composed by the excellent pianist Cedar Walton and bassist Walter Booker. I assume that Booker was the ‘Books’ in the title. Completing the Quintet was the outstanding drummer Billy Higgins. Sadly rich complex rhythms are too much for today’s musical morons.

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