Friday, November 14, 2014

Byrd-Adams Repertoire (1958-61)

Gary Carner. Copyright Protected. All rights reserved.

Who wrote all those great tunes for the Byrd-Adams Quintet? I always knew Donald Byrd wrote a bunch and that Duke Pearson wrote a few. When I began assessing their book recently I was surprised to see the degree to which Byrd's writing dominated the amount of original material written for 1958-61 band. 33 original compositions were written to perform during that period. Of that, 70% of the oeuvre was written by Donald Byrd or (in the case of Each Time I Think of You) co-written by Byrd and Duke Pearson. 

Listen to Each Time I Think of You: 

Nine of the tunes were written by various pianists in the band: Walter Davis Jr., Duke Pearson and Herbie Hancock. Pepper Adams wrote his two compositions for Motor City Scene, the 1960 Bethlehem date under his leadership. It seems doubtful that either of Adams' tunes were ever played by the Quintet in club dates. Herbie Hancock's first recorded composition, Requiem,” can be heard on Royal Flush, the Quintet's last studio date while still a touring band.

Listen to Requiem here: 

“Jeannine,”* written by Duke Pearson, was recorded by Cannonball Adderley about six months before the November, 1960 Live at the Half Note date. Although not written for the Byrd-Adams Quintet, it's included below, albeit an outlier, because Byrd-Adams helped make the tune part of the standard jazz repertoire. That's in part due to the fact that their seminal Blue Note recording never went out of print in the U.S.

Listen to Jeannine here: 

What about the rest of the book? Judging from the data, 28 other tunes were either recorded or performed in clubs. A few of these tunes were standards but most were tunes that few performed. Even some of the standards were modified in creative ways, such as the ballad “That's All” and the novelty number “I'm an Old Cowhand” being made into uptempo flag-wavers. See the Byrd-Adams repertoire list below.

Pepper Adams:

Donald Byrd:
Bird House
The Cat Walk
Devil Whip
Down Tempo
Great God
Here Am I
The Injuns
The Long Two/Four (= Off to the Races)
Pure D. Funk
Soulful Kiddy
Sudwest Funk
When Your Love Has Gone
You're Next

Donald Byrd-Duke Pearson:
Each Time I Think of You

Walter Davis Jr.:
Bronze Dance
Clarion Calls

Herbie Hancock:

Duke Pearson:
Child's Play
Duke's Mixture
Hello Bright Sunflower
My Girl Shirl
Say You're Mine

Other tunes recorded and performed by Byrd-Adams:
Amen (Donald Byrd)
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Harold Arlen)
Bitty Ditty (Thad Jones)
Cute (Neal Hefti)
Day Dream (Billy Strayhorn)
Hastings Street Bounce (traditional)
I'm a Fool to Want You (Jack Wolf-Joel Herron-Frank Sinatra)
I'm an Old Cowhand (Johnny Mercer)
I Remember Clifford (Benny Golson)
It's a Beautiful Evening (Raymond Rasch)
Like Someone in Love (Jimmy Van Heusen)
Little Girl Blue (Richard Rodgers)
Lover Come Back to Me (Richard Rodgers)
Mr. Lucky (Henry Mancini)
One More for the Road (Harold Arlen) 
Out of This World (Harold Arlen)
Paul's Pal (Sonny Rollins)
A Portrait of Jennie (J. Russel Robinson)
Sophisticated Lady (Duke Ellington)
Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael)
Stuffy (Coleman Hawkins)
That's All (Bob Haymes-Alan Brandt)
'Tis (Thad Jones)
Trio (Errol Garner)
When Sunny Gets Blue (Marvin Fisher-Jack Segal)
You're My Thrill (Jay Gorney)
Witchcraft (Cy Coleman)

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