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The Blackbyrds

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Album Review

This amazing album is the product of six full-time Howard University students taking the direction of department head and jazz great Donald Byrd into the Fantasy Studios along with the aid of production wizard Larry Mizell. The result is some of the finest groove-oriented jazz music ever recorded. The rhythm section of Joe Hall on bass and Keith Killgo on drums provides a tight foundation for the Blackbyrds to enhance any dancefloor with their soulful explorations. With Kevin Toney supplying beautiful keyboard work and Barney Perry hitting listeners up with his chicken-scratch guitar, the skeletal framework for what could be called optimistic funk was firmly established by this debut record. Recommended songs include "Do It, Fluid," "Reggins," and "Summer Love," although the overall consistency of quality tracks on The Blackbyrds is reason enough to give the album a complete listen.

Customer Reviews

Neo Soul Beginnings

this album acts as the birth to neo soul. The Mizell Brotehrs were like the J Dilla of the 70's

2 LP's on this 1 CD

This is actually both "The Blackbyrds" (1974) and "Flying Start" (1974). So worth the money!

Walking In Rhythm

If this file is corrupted please replace it. I don't want to have to repurchase this song again through one of their greatest hits collections and find out it has the same problem. :(


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...
Full Bio