Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series Curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman; Blue Grooves (Part 2) Themed Installment Presented on 180g Vinyl LP
In honor of Blue Note Records’ 80th Anniversary, the legendary jazz label is launching the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series. Distinct from the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this second series curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman features 180g vinyl LP releases in standard packaging with albums spanning the many eras of the label’s history presented by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders. The series resumes in August 2019 with Part 2 of the Blue Grooves theme – Lou Donaldson Alligator Bogaloo (1967), Donald Byrd Ethiopian Knights (1972) and John Scofield Hand Jive (1994) – and will continue with three albums released each month for the coming year.
Trumpet titan Donald Byrd gained his greatest fame in the 1970s when he recorded a series of commercially successful funk/R&B albums for Blue Note. 1972’s Ethiopian Knights is the culmination of the innovative sound that Byrd put forth on Fancy Free, Electric Byrd and Kofi. Combining L.A. studio musicians with Bobby Hutcherson and Harold Land and the Jazz Crusaders’ Joe Sample and Wilton Felder, Byrd paints sonic pictures that draw from the textures of Miles Davis’s In a Silent Way and African music as well as jazz, funk and fusion. These colorful performance sound as lively, lyrical and hip today as they did nearly half century ago.
This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
Donald Byrd, trumpet
Wilton Felder, bass
Edward Greene, drums
David Walker / Don Peake / Grey Poree, guitar
Joe Sample, organ
William Henderson III, piano
Harold Land, tenor saxophone
Thurman Green, trombone
Bobby Hutcherson, vibraphone