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Album Review

The Birth of Hard Bop explores Savoy sessions from tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley and trumpeters Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan early in their careers. The majority of material has been previously released, however five alternate and previously unissued takes are included. Recorded between January and November 1956, with Mobley as the leader, playing on all tracks except the first three which fall under Byrd's leadership. Morgan's contributions surface on the last seven tracks, again under Mobley's leadership and excluding Byrd. The list of sidemen are hard bop (and bop) pioneers including Horace Silver, Barry Harris, Doug Watkins, Kenny Clarke, Hank Jones, and Arthur Taylor. This is a welcomed reissue with great sound and informative liner notes by Doug Ramsey in which the stifling term "hard bop" is thoroughly examined.

Biography

Born: 09 December 1932 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Donald Byrd was considered one of the finest hard bop trumpeters of the post-Clifford Brown era. He recorded prolifically as both a leader and sideman from the mid-'50s into the mid-'60s, most often for Blue Note, where he established a reputation as a solid stylist with a clean tone, clear articulation, and a knack for melodicism. Toward the end of the '60s, Byrd became fascinated with Miles Davis' move into fusion, and started recording his own forays into the field. In the early '70s, with the...
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