Jazz/Funk Grooves On 180g Vinyl LP!
Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series!
In honor of Blue Note Records' 80th Anniversary, the legendary Jazz label is launching the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series. Distinct from the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this 2nd series curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman features mid-priced 180g vinyl releases in standard packaging with albums spanning the many eras of the label's history presented by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders.
Ethiopian Knights is an album by American trumpeter Donald Byrd featuring performances by Byrd with Thurman Green, Harold Land, Bobby Hutcherson, and Joe Sample released on the Blue Note label in 1972.
"Right from the stop-start bass groove that opens 'The Emperor,' it's immediately clear that Ethiopian Knights is more indebted to funk -- not just funky jazz, but the straight-up James Brown/Sly Stone variety -- than any previous Donald Byrd project. And, like a true funk band, Byrd and his group work the same driving, polyrhythmic grooves over and over, making rhythm the focal point of the music. Although the musicians do improvise, their main objective is to keep the grooves pumping, using their solos more to create texture than harmonic complexity. That's why jazz purists began to detest Byrd with this album (though the follow-ups certainly cinched it); in truth, even though Ethiopian Knights did move Byrd closer to R&B, it's still more jazz than funk, and didn't completely foreshadow his crossover. The dense arrangements and lo-o-o-ng workouts (two of the three tracks are over 15 minutes) are indicative of Byrd's continued debt to Miles Davis, in particular the bevy of live double LPs Davis issued in the early '70s. Byrd again leads a large ensemble, but with mostly different players than on his recent sessions; some come from the group assembled for Bobby Hutcherson's Head On album, others from the Jazz Crusaders. That's part of the reason there are fewer traces of hard bop here, but it's also clear from the title that Byrd's emerging Afrocentric consciousness was leading him -- like Davis -- to seek ways of renewing jazz's connection to the people who created it. Even if it isn't quite as consistent as Kofi and Electric Byrd, Ethiopian Knights is another intriguing transitional effort that deepens the portrait of Byrd the acid jazz legend." - AllMusic
• Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series
• 180g Vinyl LP
• Blue Note 80: Blue Grooves, Part 2
• All Analog
• Mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes
• Pressed at Optimal in Germany
Donald Byrd, trumpet
Harold Land, tenor sax
Thurman Green, trombone
Bobby Hutcherson, vibes
Don Peake, guitar
David Walker, guitar
Greg Poree, guitar
William Henderson III, piano
Joseph Sample, organ
Wilton Felder, bass
Edward Greene, drums
1. The Emperor
3. The Little Rasti