On our recent trip to Spain, we were sitting in a small tapas bar in the Born area of Barcelona. We were enjoying some great food, and some excellent wine, when a song came on that made us both go, “Who in the heck is that”. We asked our server who it was and he went to find out for us. Turns out that it was Donald Byrd, who, unfortunately, passed away on February 4, 2013 at he age of 80. Having just discovered him (where was he hiding), I was quite saddened by this news, A great trumpet player, his career spanned 7 decades and included, besides his solo work, stints and recordings with a who’s who of the jazz and blues world. John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hancock may ring a few bells with you.
He recorded over 40 albums on his own and many more as a sideman. An outstanding career. The song I have chosen in memorial, is the one we heard in Barcelona, “Falling (like dominoes)” of his Places and Spaces album, which was recorded in 1975.