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Donald Byrd: Off to the Races

Album Notes

Before trumpeter Donald Byrd began his flirtations with fusion, funk, and pop in the 1960s and '70s, he was one of hard bop's most satisfying practitioners. 1958's OFF TO THE RACES is one of his finest dates from the period, and a stellar personnel list (including baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, and pianist Wynton Kelly) helps get things cooking. There is the usual Blue Note assortment of ballads, blues, and up-tempo numbers, but it's the musicianship, particularly the fine, fluid soloing of Byrd and McLean, that makes this a keeper.


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