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Donald Byrd (1932-2013)

Trumpeter Donald Byrd has passed away last week at the age of 80.

Byrd began his career with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the 50s as well as performing with the likes of John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins and Eric Dolphy.

As his career progressed Byrd moved away from bebop becoming a pioneer in the burgeoning soul and funk genres recording primarily for the Blue Note label where he spent the bulk of his career. in the 70s Byrd became particularly popular releasing Black Byrd in 1973 which went on to become Blue Note's best selling album of all time.

Byrd's contribution to music is still felt to this day as his output during the 70s and 80s continues to be sample and used regularly.

Over all Byrd recorded 47 albums as a leader and 92 albums as a sideman with his last album released being a set from 1961 called Touchstone with Pepper Adams, Herbie Hancock, Teddy Charles and Jimmy Cobb from 2000.


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