Donald Byrd’s 1975 fusion classic, Places and Spaces, was the culmination of the legendary trumpeter’s vibrant latter Blue Note years. Byrd had begun recording for Blue Note in 1958, and over two decades evolved from a top-notch hard bop trumpeter into a pioneer of R&B/Funk fusion, leading the label’s own creative direction along a similar path. Byrd had begun to introduce elements of fusion to his music with his 1969 album Fancy Free and shadowed Miles Davis’s early-1970s moves with experimental sessions like Electric Byrd and Ethiopian Knights. It wasn’t until Byrd hooked up with visionary producer Larry Mizell for his 1972 album Black Byrd that a new sound coalesced: funky and sultry, sophisticated yet accessible, with intricate arrangements that allowed Byrd’s trumpet to soar over top. A string of commercial successes followed, reaching a creative peak with Places and Spaces, the fifth Byrd-Mizell collaboration which was co-produced by Larry and his brother, Fonce Mizell. The album featured some of the most enduring hits this legendary creative team conjured up including «Wind Parade,» «Dominoes,» and «Places and Spaces,» all of which were sampled heavily by hip-hop artists in the decades that followed.
This Blue Note Classic Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
Boasting sweeping string arrangements, sultry rhythm guitars, rubbery bass, murmuring flügelhorns, and punchy horn charts, the music falls halfway between the cinematic neo-funk of Street Lady and the proto-disco soul of Earth, Wind & Fire.
This is not quite as successful as the previous albums Mizell made with the trumpeter, as its heavy use of strings feels a little too heavily aimed at a disco market that was already overshadowing jazz legends like Byrd. That doesn’t make it any less fun to listen to when it’s time to get your family to do a Soul Train dance line during the holidays.
- Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissue Series
- 180g Vinyl LP
- All-Analog Pressing
- Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio from Original Analog Tapes
- Manufactured at Optimal in Germany
|Donald Byrd||flugelhorn, trumpet, vocals|
|Mayuto Correa||congas, percussion|
|Tyree Glenn, Jr.||tenor sax|
|Wade Marcus||conductor, string arrangements|
|Fonce Mizell||clavichord, clavinet, trumpet, vocals|
|Larry Mizell||piano, vocals|
|Chuck Rainey||electric bass|
|Skip Scarborough||electric piano|
- Change (Makes You Want To Hustle)
- Wind Parade
- Places And Spaces
- You And Music
- Night Whistler
- Just My Imagination