Donald Byrd - The extraordinary Pioneer.

Donald Byrd – Live In Recklinghausen, Germany – 1964 (RIP: Donald Byrd) – Past Daily Downbeat

Donald Byrd - The extraordinary Pioneer.
Donald Byrd – Portrait of an extraordinary Pioneer.

Click on the link here for Audio Player: DonaldByrd1964-02-26Recklinghausen

Sad news, this past week, of the passing of Jazz Giant Donald Byrd. A pioneer and innovator, Byrd was a major influence in the careers of many Musicians and in the direction Jazz took in general in the 1970’s.

His involvement with his milestone group The Blackbyrds, and his forward-thinking explorations into the Avant-Garde and Free Jazz, laid the groundwork for many to follow in his footsteps.

This weekend though, I ran across an example one of his previous incarnations – leading a big band in a concert recorded by  the German Radio network WDR on February 26, 1964.

Here’s what’s on the player:

Donald Byrd Big-Band. Feb 26, 1964

Recklinghausen, Vestlandhalle Germany


Donald Byrd (tp),

Benny Bailey (tp),

Jon Eardley (tp, contra alt-tp),

Idrees Sulieman (tp, as),

Johnny Renard (tp, mellophone),

Albert Mangelsdorff (tb),

Eje Thelin (tb),

Ake Persson (tb),

Nat Peck (tb, v-tb),

Hans Koller (ts),

Johnny Scott (as, fl, a-fl, cl),

Klaus Doldinger (ts, as, ss),

Johnny Griffin (ts),

Sahib Shihab (bs, fl),

Rolf Kühn (cl, ts),

Ingfried Hoffmann (p, org),

Pierre Cavalli (g),

Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (b),

Egil Johansen (dr),

1 Hey day (Peck) (4:32)

2 Night song (Doldinger) (5:12)

3 Conversations (Shihab) (7:42)

4. Concerto for Benjamin and Jonathan (Eardley) (10:36)

There is no doubt Donald Byrd left a long and enduring legacy for future generations of Jazz Musicians (and all musicians, for that matter), to follow.

His was a unique and gifted voice – and it will be missed. But it will always be remembered.

RIP – Donald Byrd.


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