In July 1973, New York's Blue Note Records assembled an artists showcase for Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival. The performers included Bobbi Humphrey, Bobby Hutcherson, Ronnie Foster, Marlena Shaw, and Donald Byrd. Following the gigs, the label released a series of albums from them with the same title: Live: Cookin' with Blue Note at Montreux. Byrd's performance was shelved, perhaps because Black Byrd, his collaboration with Larry and Fonce Mizell, became a crossover R&B hit and was still on the charts. The tapes sat for decades until Gilles Peterson mentioned them to label boss Don Was in 2013 after Byrd died. Was heard the 2" master tapes and was blown away. Blue Note finally releases the album in commemoration of his 90th birthday. Byrd's ten-piece Montreux band included Fonce on trumpet, Larry on synths, saxophonists Nathan Davis and Allan Barnes, electric pianist Kevin Toney, guitarist Barney Perry, electric bassist Henry Franklin, drummer Keith Killgo, and conguero/percussionist Ray Armando.

This impeccably recorded set contains five tunes (three appear only here), lasting just over 45 minutes. The gig opened with "Black Byrd." Synth, hi-hat, and percussion introduce the jam's iconic vamp as Byrd, Fonce, and Killgo chant. This version contains a massive, incessant groove, framing Davis' soaring tenor solo, and interplay between drummer and percussionist; it's hypnotic and utterly danceable. Byrd .....


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