Donald Byrd - Live: Cookin' With Blue Note At Montreux LP
Blue Note, 2022
In July 1973, Blue Note Records headed to Montreux, Switzerland to showcase several of the label’s stars at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Produced by Blue Note President George Butler, live albums all titled Live: Cookin’ with Blue Note at Montreux followed from vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, organist Ronnie Foster, flutist Bobbi Humphrey, and vocalist Marlena Shaw, but one of the performances by trumpeter Donald Byrd remained unreleased in the Blue Note vaults, until now.
That summer, Byrd was fresh off the release of his hit crossover fusion album Black Byrd, the first of his innovative and incredibly successful studio collaborations with producer Larry Mizell. But in a live setting, the band had a rawer, harder edge, as this searing set attests. Byrd led a 10-piece band that included Larry Mizell on synthesizers, Fonce Mizell on trumpet and vocals, Allan Barneson on tenor saxophone and flute, Nathan Davis on soprano and tenor saxophone, Kevin Toney on electric piano, Barney Perry on electric guitar, Henry Franklin on electric bass, Keith Killgo on drums, and Ray Armando on congas and percussion. The set list includes Larry Mizell’s tune “Black Byrd” along with otherwise unrecorded Byrd originals like “The East,” “Kwame,” and “Poco-Mania,” as well as an excellent cover of Stevie Wonder’s “You’ve Got It Bad Girl.”
Live: Cookin’ with Blue Note at Montreux is released on what would have been the legendary trumpeter’s 90th birthday—December 9, 2022—and is available on Blue Note Store exclusive blue vinyl, black vinyl, CD, and digital download. The vinyl release is all-analog and mastered by Kevin Gray.
Tracklist1. Black Byrd
2. You’ve got It Bad Girl
3. The East