This is definitely one of the most iconic Blue Notes. The cover artwork is a masterclass in branding and design. How can you not be intrigued by "A New Perspective", everyone wants one of those? And that car? The lines trickles around while the type remains locked, balancing our eye and directing it to the perfectly positioned Donald Byrd. Who cares about the music now, RVG and Reid Miles already won the battle of the mind? Visual significance aside, the music here has really grown on me. I first heard this release in the sample-mad days of the mid-nineties. The soulful groove was lost on this super-focused youth looking for 1 bar nuts. Voices on a Blue Note? I couldn't be bothered. But after listening to years worth of jazz records, the voices and arrangement become something to stand on. The moment Byrd's trumpet enters on "Cristo" and that piano interplay? So sumptuous, the voices frame it perfectly. Jazz can be tiring to listen to sometimes, vocal arrangements help to take the weight.
- music label: Blue Note 1964 / 2015