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Latin Byrd

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Album Review

This single CD reissues two complete Charlie Byrd LPs (Latin Impressions and Charlie Byrd's Bossa Nova), some of which had been available previously on a 1970s two-fer. Byrd, the master of the acoustic guitar whose gentle and lyrical style perfectly fit bossa nova, is heard in prime form on 23 rather pretty numbers. There are six unaccompanied solos and many workouts with his quartet, which is sometimes augmented by four cellos, a French horn, trumpeter Hal Posey, vibraphonist Tommy Gwaltney, and/or extra percussionists. Surprisingly there are only two Antonio Carlos Jobim songs among the ones performed, but the other selections (which include five Byrd originals) are very much in the idiom. This CD shows that pretty music does not have to be Muzak or new age. Highly recommended.

Biography

Born: September 16, 1925 in Chuckatuck, VA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Tasteful, low-key, and ingratiatingly melodic, Charlie Byrd had two notable accomplishments to his credit — applying acoustic classical guitar techniques to jazz and popular music and helping to introduce Brazilian music to mass North American audiences. Born into a musical family, Byrd experienced his first brush with greatness while a teenager in France during World War II, playing with his idol Django Reinhardt. After some postwar gigs with Sol Yaged, Joe Marsala and Freddie Slack, Byrd...
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Latin Byrd, Charlie Byrd
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