20Feb/130

Remembering Donald Byrd

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While t.r.o.y. focuses primarily on hip-hop music and culture, we know a thing or two about other genres and eras as well. After all, what kind of diggers would we be without at least a few crates full of jazz, funk and soul LPs? Early this month, the music world suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd. A masterful bandleader and prolific sideman, Dr. Byrd is survived by a gargantuan discography spanning five decades and perhaps as many styles and subgenres. The lasting impact of these recordings was and is especially evident within the annals of hip-hop, as Byrd’s music has been sampled literally hundreds of times, by everyone from the Bombsquad to the Beatnuts.

Shortly after Byrd’s death, DJ and record collector Gilles Peterson got to work on a comprehensive multi-volume tribute, appropriately broken down into two parts, “The Acoustic Years” and “The Electric Years.” These mixes can be streamed below, along with a video introduction by Peterson himself.



As I said earlier, Dr. Byrd’s music has been sampled and re-sampled numerous times over the years. This begs the question, what’s your favorite Donald Byrd flip? Hit us up in the comments section, and maybe we’ll get a poll going.

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