DONALD BYRD- ALBUM MUSIC (LEAD SHEET TRANSCRIPTIONS)

“Fly, Little Byrd” is a tune by Donald Byrd, from his 1987 Landmark CD, HARLEM BLUES. along with Byrd are featured Kenny Garrett on alto sax, Mulgrew Miller on piano, Rufus Reid on bass, Marvin “Smitty” Smith on drums and Mike Daugherty playing synth on a couple of tracks. it’s my favorite tune from the record. the first half of the 16 bar melody is diminished cycle, made up of a two bar motif that descends by minor thirds. trumpet and alto are harmonized in thirds. the progression is cyclic as well. it begins in F Major and descends by alternating whole and half steps. every odd chord is Major and every even one is Dominant (except for the 8th bar which is a ii- V back to F Major). the progression on the second half of the song is also a cycle, this time alternating between ascending fourths and descending minor seconds (the final bar, like the 8th bar, is a ii- V back to F Major). it makes for a really challenging framework for improvisation…

DONALD BYRD- FLY, LITTLE BYRD

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Two years after HARLEM BLUES, Byrd released another disc on Landmark entitled GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS. Garrett is the only player that he kept for this session. he also added a third horn, Joe Henderson on tenor sax. the rhythm section is Donald Brown on piano, bassist Peter Washington and Al Foster playing drums. there a number of great compositions here, the standouts being Donald Brown’s “Theme For Malcolm”, “Pomponio” by Bobby Hutcherson and “A Certain Attitude” by James Williams. in addition to those, there is Byrd’s tune, “The Onliest”, an almost Monkish melody followed by open blowing, and Henderson’s “Around The Corner”, a blues that was called “Teeter Totter” on his Blue Note record, OUR THING

DONALD BYRD- THE ONLIEST

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JOE HENDERSON- AROUND THE CORNER

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16. September 2010 by james
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