Donald Byrd -- "Mustang " -- A First Listen

My dad bought me a copy of "Mustang!" for christmas this year. Having never heard any of his performances I was moderately excited.

What happened next was a mind-blowing experience so unique that I'm still picking up the pieces of my head up off the floor.

The album cover is just simply cool. It's sexy, but it's light and its something you want to keep out just to quietly let people know, "I know whats up, and I know how to get down."

The music just soars, the performances are captivating, and they're real. With such a limited collection of jazz relegated to the standards of coltrane, monk, dolphy and the extreme stylings of sun ra, I cant say I'm in anyway deeply familiar with 'jazz', but this screams 'real jazz' to my ears. The title track made my foot tap tap without noticing, and "i got it bad and that aint good" had such emotion and charisma that the song itself became another person in my room.

Hearing an album for the first time, at the right time is the experience I've always loved, but so rarely experienced. Its independent of any 'system' or 'tweak' and it cant be bought or traded for, and it can happen at any moment, and maybe never happen again. It as likely to happen in your car on a long drive as it is in your living room or favorite club. Its something that is as hard to forget as it to understand -- and the mystery is what makes it so lovely.

I can say that at 26 years old, I'll be buying several copies of this gem for sure.
I haven't heard the CD you mentioned but I have one of Donald Byrd's releases from the 70's. I couldn't help responding to your enthusiasm over the musical performance.

Herbie Hacock's CD "Speak Like a Child" has the same effect on me. Not just a one time experience but over and over. To my ears the performance is magic and as you describe, it brings out emotional involvement.
i dont have any Hancock, but he's top on my list to get when I'm picking up some new jazz. I appreciate the recommendation.
I just listened to the music samples from Mustang on Amazon. I think I will order a copy. Thanks.
Hard Bop is where it's at.

All the Blue Note's from this period are worth owning.
Freddie, Lee, Joe Henderson, Larry Young, Grant Green, Wayne, Herbie, Andrew Hill, Mobley, Blakey McCoy Tyner, Bobby Hutcherson, Jackie Mac.

Liberty era pressings with the RVG stamp can still be scooped up for $20-$30.

These beautiful looking and sounding vinyl gems are the real deal and they are authentic and sonically superior to any CD's I've heard. Although I have not heard the XRCD versions yet.

Byrd albums with a similar sound would be "Byrd in hand" and "Blackjack".
RE: Rhljazz

Thanks much for the recommendations!
My two favorite Byrd albums (vinyl, of course !) are "The Catwalk" and "Harlem Blues." And I totally agree with Oddmorning's posting above........The Blue Note albums from that era are all wonderful. A lot of the guys play on each other's albums, and it's really cool to listen to the players in different roles and varying ensembles.

Other musicians from that era well worth exploring are Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Ike Quebec, Dizzy Reese, Tina Brooks, Horace Silver, Cannonball Adderly.....the list goes on and on. There are tons of great "bop and hard bop" albums out there. Go explore, listen, and fall in love with jazz. It's cool stuff.
Yeah, I went back and started to look at the different band members/performers on the records I have and bought a Hank Mobley record. I'm un-officially naming it the Posi-Jazz record. Loving it.
Well, thanks to you, Fightingwords............I bought "Mustang" (as a Blue Note re-issue LP) and you are absolutely correct ! It's a fantastic album ! My wife, who is not the world's biggest jazz fan, really digs it too. I hope that you continue to expand your love of jazz, and that your collection grows as your musical tastes expand. Happy Listening.
wow, Adam18, thats awesome! glad you both like the record.
Check out Dexter Gordon's "One Flight Up", recorded in 1964, probably my favorite Blue Note album. Gordon is the headliner, with Byrd on trumpet, Kenny Drew piano, Art Taylor on very prominent drums, and Niels-Henning Orsted on Bass. The long first cut "Tanya" is absolutely great.
Agreed on "one flight up" that first track is hypnotic for me. Just spun that tonight. Followed by "our man in paris". Also spun hank mobley "no room for squares". Mustang is up next!!