Blue Note to release previously unissued Donald Byrd live recording

A previously unissued live recording of Donald Byrd performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1973 is finally being released this year.

Blue Note Records will officially release Live: Cookin’ with Blue Note at Montreux for the first time on what would have been the legendary trumpeter’s 90th birthday: Dec. 9, 2022.

In July of 1973, Blue Note showcased several of the label’s stars at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The visit yielded live albums by vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, organist Ronnie Foster, flutist Bobbi Humphrey, and vocalist Marlena Shaw, all titled Live: Cookin’ with Blue Note at Montreux and produced by Blue Note’s then-president George Butler. However, Byrd’s performance remained in the vaults until now.

Listen to Black Byrd below:

That summer, Byrd had just released his hit crossover fusion album Black Byrd, the first of his successful collaborations with producer Larry Mizell.

In this live performance, Byrd led a 10-piece band that included Larry Mizell on synthesizers, Fonce Mizell on trumpet and vocals, Allan Barnes on tenor saxophone and flute, Nathan Davis on soprano and tenor saxophone, Kevin Toney on electric piano, Barney Perry on electric guitar, Henry Franklin on electric bass, Keith Killgo on drums, and Ray Armando on congas and percussion.

The set list includes several unrecorded Byrd originals like The East, Kwame and Poco-Mania, as well as Larry Mizell’s Black Byrd and a cover of Stevie Wonder’s You’ve Got It Bad Girl.

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Here’s the track listing:

  1. Black Byrd
  2. You’ve Got It Bad Girl
  3. The East
  4. Introductions
  5. Kwame
  6. Poco-Mania

Donald Byrd’sLive: Cookin’ with Blue Note at Montreux will be released Dec. 9, 2022, via Blue Note.