...this blog captures in order the albums as I pull these gems off the shelf and groove to them .....

Monday, December 24, 2012

Donald Byrd - Free Form (1961)

Donald Byrd - Free Form, Blue Note 1961

  Donald Byrd is one of the greats...jazz to funk this guy had his Mojo working !   "Free Form"  was an album that is as beautiful on the inside as it is the Outside (doves flying).  In many ways the album cover is quite fitting to the free-like vibe Byrd got on this album.    
   And what a line up on this album ....Butch Warren (bass),  Herbie Hancock (Piano), Billy Higgins (drums), Wayne Shorter (sax) and tonights feature Mr. Donald Byrd.   This was the only Blue Note record i believe where Byrd and Shorter play together.
   Free Form was really just a mish-mash of modern jazz styles where Byrd actually plays un-stylistically and in a very subdued manner with his brass tones lean and toned.   Unlike many of his contemporaries (Lee Morgan, Miles Davis)  Byrd does not jump to any wild outbursts or crazy solos.    I always felt that with Free Form he just wanted to record a straight forward Jazz album and lets the free chemistry of his skilled fellow musicians take over....and that is what happened....THAT IS  UNTIL THE LAST SONG....and that is where it kind of gets interesting......something NEW happened...and the albums ends on a very promising note.
   On the song "Free Form", Byrd takes a step right into the depths of and introduces us to a new jazz form called Fusion.    It sounds like everyone is off doing their own thing yet it all seems to hold together as a united song where once again there is that certain Free feeling exuded on this album.
  Free Form is an excellent and important album for jazz historians. 

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