The Village Caller Music Show: Donald Byrd, Gone But Not Forgotten

Donald ByrdDonald Byrd was born in 1932 in Detroit, Michigan, my home town, and recently died February 4, 2013. The passing of Byrd and so many of the great musicians in the last few years has made my desire to keep the history and the music of jazz alive for those who come after me or those not aware of this piece of African American culture. Donald Byrd was a musical scholar and teacher as well as a great musician. He received a bachelor’s degree in music from Wayne State University in Detroit, my alma mater, and a master’s degree from the Manhattan College of Music. He was also a teacher and taught music at several universities in the USA. I first paid attention to Donald when I heard “ Christo Redentor “ as a sign off song for one of Detroit’s illustrious disc jockeys circa 1968. The thing about Donald Byrd is that you sort of grew up listening to his music if you were mildly interested in jazz. In the process of growing, Donald took us through several manifestations of his musical diversity, but the most significant thing was that he gave me a bridge to commercial jazz that I could appreciate. Make no mistake, Donald was a “straight ahead jazz musician” in the Detroit style, but when working with his students the “ Black Byrds” and others, he gave us tunes and melodies that we still remember. Donald will be missed but not forgotten.

Donald Byrd: Alter Ego

Donald Byrd: I Love The Girl

Donald Byrd: Christo Redentor

Donald Byrd: Flight Time

Donald Byrd: Fancy Free

I hope you enjoy the music.

Your Host, Bill Tucker




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