Blue Note Records
Donald Byrd – At The Half Note Cafe, Vol. 1 LP (Blue Note Tone Poet Series)
Trumpeter Donald Byrd was just 2 years into his 2 decade long Blue Note recording career when he brought his quintet in to Manhattan’s Half Note Café in November 1960 to record this soulful, swinging, and highly enjoyable live set of hard bop featuring Pepper Adams on baritone saxophone, Duke Pearson on piano, Laymon Jackson on bass, and Lex Humphries on drums. Byrd had already established himself as a leading trumpeter on the scene and was riding high on a creative hot streak that produced the studio albums Off To The Races, Byrd In Hand, Fuego, and Byrd In Flight. After an introduction by WOV disc jockey Ruth Mason (who would later become Ruth Lion, wife of Blue Note founder Alfred Lion), the band hits the ground running on Pearson’s up-tempo “My Girl Shirl” before downshifting into Byrd’s blues “Soulful Kiddy.” Side 2 opens with a beautiful ballad performance of “A Portrait of Jennie” before stretching out on another original blues by Byrd titled “Cecile” and concluding Volume 1 with the band’s theme “Pure D. Funk.”
Blue Note Tone Poet Series
The Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series was born out of Blue Note President Don Was’ admiration for the exceptional audiophile Blue Note LP reissues presented by Music Matters. Was brought Joe Harley, a.k.a. the “Tone Poet,” on board to curate and supervise a series of reissues from the Blue Note family of labels.
Extreme attention to detail has been paid to getting these right in every conceivable way, from the jacket graphics and printing quality to superior LP mastering (direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray to superb 180g audiophile LP pressings by Record Technology Inc. Every aspect of these Tone Poet releases is done to the highest possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. This is IT.
This stereo Tone Poet Vinyl Edition was produced by Joe Harley, mastered by Kevin Gray (Cohearent Audio) from the original analog master tapes, pressed on 180g vinyl at Record Technology Inc. (RTI), and packaged in a deluxe gatefold tip-on jacket.
A1: My Girl Shirl
A2: Soulful Kiddy
B1: A Portrait Of Jennie
B3: The Theme