In the autumn of 1963, Donald Byrd established himself as a leading figure on the Blue Note label, becoming an influential African-American jazz leader who shaped the evolution of hard bop. Despite his status and major contribution to the genre, it is surprising to note that Byrd never had the opportunity to record in the studio with some of the other great jazz figures.
Byrd, who came to prominence with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1955, is recognized not only as one of the most gifted trumpeters of his generation, but also as an inventive composer. He sought to modernize hard bop through bold orchestral experiments and the exploration of modality.
November 14, 1963 marked a turning point when Byrd took part in a recording session in Berlin organized by American alto saxophonist and arranger Herb Geller. The session brought together Byrd, designated "Special Guest", with seasoned American musicians and talented young European soloists. The result is a collection of compositions in a variety of styles, including the standards "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Blue Orchids", as well as the original compositions "An Air for the Heir" and "The Dexter Byrd", all enhanced by Geller's arrangements.
This musical encounter enabled Byrd to demonstrate his talents as an improviser and composer, later leading to his only collaboration on a Blue Note album, the sparkling "One Flight Up".
We at The Lost Recordings are proud to present this reissue of "Donald Byrd & Dexter Gordon". Originally recorded in mono in 1963 at RBB's Studio III in Berlin, this recording has been remastered from the original analog tapes to offer an enhanced audio experience. This 180g vinyl limited edition is available in just 3,000 numbered copies, with a high-quality gatefold sleeve, printed in Italy and pressed by Marciac Workshop Pressings in France.