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Happy Music: The Best of the Blackbyrds

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Album Review

There was 1978's Night Grooves: The Blackbyrds' Greatest Hits, then 1989's Greatest Hits, and now there are two additional sets that handle the Blackbyrds' discography with a little more love and depth. This one — Happy Music: The Best of the Blackbyrds — covers most of R&B chart hits and other energetic highlights, while LoveByrds: Soft and Easy focuses on the finer proto-smooth jazz material. Here's some of the most uplifting, most melodically developed (and most sampled) jazz-funk made, and the disc also showcases the group's versatility. Including the exuberant "Happy Music," the lilting "Walking in Rhythm," the heart-melting "Mysterious Vibes," the awesomely sleazy "Rock Creek Park," and the War dead ringer "Do It, Fluid," along with eight other highlights and an unreleased track that doesn't feel out of place, it easily trumps the compilations that came before it. It sounds much more vivid, and the liner notes, from producer Don Mizell, are another treat.

Customer Reviews


Trumpeter Donald Byrd is one of my all time favorite artists. A major reason for this is his backing band, the Blackbyrds. To have a comprehensive best-of of their work is immaculate. There is not a single flaw in any of this music. It's funky, jazzy, and above all else this is solid, timeless music. I strongly recommend this album to anyone interested in Donald Byrd, his back-up band, or if you appreciate amazing music.

The Mizell's and Donald couldnt do no wrong!

The Blackbyrds were a tight and funky crew of skilled players and all around talented cats...there are some gems missing on here but there is alot of great music! The girl who gave it 1 star is tired, tardy and weak...she also gave 5 stars to High School high the musical???...which probably means she is under 14, suffers from honkey pox and is of the pale complexion!

Best of the Blackbyrds...nuff said

How would anybody that knows anything about music give the blackbyrds a 1 star? The blackbyrds are a classic band with a great 70's sound. Rock Creek Park was the first song I ever heard from them and it's a jam. Add this to yet another funk band that influenced hip hop. If you like them check out kool and the gang, The Crusaders, Earth Wind and Fire and a whole bunch of other great funk bands.


Formed: 1973 in Washington DC

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s

The Blackbyrds were a jazz-funk group with thick R&B streaks running down their backs. Assembled by Donald Byrd in 1974, the group's original members -- percussionist Pericles "Perk" Jacobs, Jr., drummer Keith Killgo, keyboardist Kevin Toney, reeds player Allan Barnes, bassist Joe Hall, guitarist Barney Perry -- were mined from Howard University's music department, where the doctor and jazz legend was an instructor. (Other key players included guitarist Orville Saunders and saxophonist/flautist Steve...
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