Listen: Black Byrd / Donald Byrd DonaldByrdBlackByrd.mp3

If I am musically all over the place with these posts, it’s because I like everything. Pretty much all kinds except…modern country or classical, and even then I admit not appreciating those genres and therefore, don’t listen enough to truly know. But I can easily have a foot in both RnB and 60′s UK rock at any given moment (or on the two turntables waiting to do a segue as I amuse myself playing deejay). So, Donald Byrd. I love the Blue Note label for one, it’s 7″ designs were really appealing to me. Not big on brassy jazz, there are always exceptions. Donald Byrd is one, and because this promo copy makes me shake at the knees, an extra break is cut. Plus ‘Black Byrd’ is such a period piece. It’s his only charting single – and one that could probably never be a hit nowadays. At the time, it was just the urban/jazz/funk sound of the street. Today it’s associated with the films of that moment, conveniently coining them and the music as blaxploitation. BLACK CEASAR, FOXY BROWN, SUPERFLY, SLAUGHTER’S BIG RIPOFF etc – I can watch them endlessly. The cars and clothes and shots of a very changed Harlem keep my eyes peeled. ‘Black Byrd’ could have placed perfectly in any. Edited down from the lengthy album version, I was working for a one-stop record distributor upon it’s release and they both sold like hot cakes. Now, it’s getting really difficult finding a clean copy of the single or album for that matter.

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