This week on From the Vault we present an informal and educational conversation about the life and career of one of the most prolific trumpet players of our time, Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II, known to the music world as Donald Byrd. This recording is one of perhaps two dozen from a mid-1980’s series called Night Journey, produced by James Graves, in which an outstanding roster of musicians, artists, and filmmakers were featured by virtue of their positive role within the Black community. Subjects of Night Journey included the likes of pianist Ahmad Jamal, drummer Al McKibbon, director Spike Lee, and this From the Vault’s featured voice, Donald Byrd. While Byrd certainly made his mark playing with many of the 1950’s jazz legends, what truly set him apart were the innovative soul and funk sounds he incorporated into his work during the 1970’s.
From the Vault is presented through the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, past grants from the Grammy Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio listeners.
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