Donald Byrd: Here Am I
Here Am I
Donald Byrd (trumpet)
Byrd in Hand (Blue Note 7243 5 42305 2 3)
Composed by Donald Byrd.
Recorded: Hackensack, NJ, May 31, 1959
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
When the New York Herald Tribune coined the term “hard bop,” it was like saying “wet water.” Bop had always been hard as tempered steel. Musicians could no more play soft bop than a fainthearted Sousa march. Still, the term caught on, perhaps because it provided a contrast to the alleged flaccidity of West Coast jazz. Detroiters Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams were hard-bop standard bearers, and "Here Am I" is a worthy anthem. Nonpareil soundman Rudy Van Gelder brings out both the tonal purity of Byrd's trumpet and the serrated edge of Pepper's pneumatic baritone. Gimme more wet water.
Attention Sharp-eyed Shoppers! Don't be put off by Amazonian dyslexia. Donald Byrd entitled this piece "Here Am I," not "Here I Am." But it's the same track.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz