THE BLACKBYRDS — Flying Start

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THE BLACKBYRDS - Flying Start cover
3.91 | 3 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1974

Filed under Funk Jazz
By THE BLACKBYRDS

Tracklist

A1 I Need You 5:30
A2 The Baby 5:17
A3 Love Is Love 4:46
A4 Blackbyrds' Theme 4:03
B1 Walking In Rhythm 4:13
B2 Future Children, Future Hopes 4:41
B3 April Showers 3:49
B4 Spaced Out 6:11

Total Time: 38:30

Line-up/Musicians

Bass – Joe Hall
Drums – Keith Killgo
Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – Allan Barnes
Guitar – Barney Perry
Percussion – Perk Jacobs
Piano [Acoustic], Electric Piano, Clavinet, Synthesizer [Arp] – Kevin Toney

About this release

Fantasy ‎– F-9472 (Us)

Thanks to snobb for the updates

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Walking in Rhythm: The Essential Selection 1973 -1980Walking in Rhythm: The Essential Selection 1973 -1980
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THE BLACKBYRDS FLYING START reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
Donald Byrd was not only one of the top jazz trumpeteers of the 60s and beyond, but also a music professor at Howard University and one of those talented individuals who could foresee upcoming musical trends and capitalize on them. Sometime in the early 70s, Donald recruited some of the top local talent for his university jazz ensemble and then figured if he could get these guys in a recording studio and on the road he could have a top notch jazz/RnB group on his hands, and so it came to pass that the Blackbyrds came to be. “Flying Start” was actually the Blackbyrd’s second album, but possibly the first one where they developed their own identity outside of Byrd’s well known persona and finds them working within their familiar territory of funk jazz and proto-disco RnB. The Blackbyrd’s early albums are their best, and “Flying Start” is no exception as it features super hot funky grooves and plenty of top notch jazz solos from the band members, plus horn work from some famous guests including Ernie Watts and George Bohanon.

Almost every track on here is good with some standouts including the supercharged disco funk of “I Need You”, possibly one of the best songs in its genre before disco became watered down and lost its funk roots. “Future Children, Future Hopes” and “Spaced Out” are instrumentals with extensive solos on the then newish Arp Odyssey. The Donald Byrd composed “The Baby” features sophisticated flute arrangements that show what he learned from his time working with Quincy Jones. Possibly the only weak track is the pop love song, “April Showers”, but even it can be endearing in its naïve saccharine sweetness. Any fan of 70s funk jazz, rare groove and the roots of acid jazz should own this one.

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