Off To The Races(180Gm)


Format: LP, Vinyl

Out of stock

Format: LP, Vinyl
Grade: New (About gradings)
SKU: 54229
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‘Off To The Races’ was Donald Byrd’s first album for Blue Note. An association that was to last until 1976, eighteen years later. It is a sextet session with a frontline horn section of Byrd, alto legend Jackie McLean and baritone giant Pepper Adams. The rhythm section comprises drummer Art Taylor, bassist Sam Jones and the brilliant Wynton Kelly on piano. Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s Hackensack, New Jersey studio on 21st December 1958, the album was released the following March. The Broadway show tune ‘Lover Come Back To Me’ starts proceedings in a brash style. There are four Byrd originals including the ballad ‘When Your Love Has Gone’, which he approaches as a quartet. The slowish blues of ‘Sudwest Fun’ is gritty with Byrd’s sound full, brassy and well-rounded. The take on Sonny Rollins’ composition ‘Paul’s Pal’ is another slowish blues with McLean all over his alto. It is a smoky tune and Kelly’s playing is outstanding. The title track, ‘Off To The Races’ is a fast Hard Bop groove that steams along at breakneck pace. McLean’s edgy sax contrasts with the warmth of Byrd’s fluid trumpet and the depth of Adams’ on baritone. The title song is a kicking tune. After an upbeat intro, ‘Down Tempo’ settles into another finger popping Bop groove, whose simple beat has a touch of Boogie Woogie. ‘Off To The Races’ is a fine Blue Note debut.

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