Slow Drag RVG Edition
Donald Byrd

So Smooth So Cool

Along my Van Gelder Quest I stared looking at the other players on these fresh recording gems I had discovered. Hank Mobly, Wayne Shorter, Donald Byrd, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock....

Well it is Slow Drag that gets the most number of plays and is always on my ipod. When I listen to the title song I get the feeling of a smokey bar, the sunrise edging in, the band playing with the strength of years of sleepless nights practicing. Not knowing if it will be the hair of the dog and another Rye, or a cup of coffee and some fresh air; the music keeps holds there. Stunned, enraptured, like the feeling after a big surprise passionate kiss.

All of Don's tones are smooth powerful, and never harsh. Jerry Roll has a snappiness and a toe tapping beat that takes the feeling of Ellington's Money Jungle and gives it some swinging Soul.

My Ideal is a soulful ballad that rests about my ears, softly clearing out the cobwebs in my head, and the solo come in and carries the song to rich fulfillment.

With the ensemble below greatness was in the studio:
Bass - Walter Booker
Drums - Billy Higgins
Engineer, Mastered By [Remastered] - Rudy Van Gelder
Photography [Cover Photograph] - Charles Keddie
Piano - Cedar Walton
Producer - Alfred Lion
Reissue Producer - Michael Cuscuna
Saxophone [Alto] - Sonny Red
Trumpet - Donald Byrd

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Luc Asbury