Down Beat (1960) - 5 Stars - Excellent - "...[Byrd] has a keen lyrical ability, which he fuses with a propensity for boiling pyrotechnics. The resulting alloy is one of the most satisfying brasses in modern jazz....a steaming, swinging, utterly satisfying performance..."
Personnel: Donald Byrd (trumpet); Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Walter Davis Jr. (piano); Sam Jones (bass); Art Taylor (drums).
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on May 31, 1959.
Before he became one of the major crossover performers in jazz, trumpeter Donald Byrd also typified American hard bop. His bright, melodious, quick-witted tone shone in all contexts (including John Coltrane, Jackie McLean, and others), but especially his own. The cleverly titled BYRD IN HAND, from 1959, features Byrd fronting an exceptional group--saxophonists Charlie Rouse (Thelonious Monk's right-hand man) and Pepper Adams (baritone), Walter Davis Jr. on piano, bassist Sam Jones (from Cannonball Adderley), and bop drum king Art Taylor. Byrd's trumpet with these two sax giants makes for a truly distinctive front-line sound, and everyone plays with class and verve.