Essential Blackbyrds retrospective for the funk and soul lovers in the place. The good folks at Decision Records (the guys responsible for the very necessary Bob James comp) have put together this deluxe set containing every must-have Blackbyrds cut, luxiouriously spread over three thick slabs of wax. The late great Donald Byrd was the driving force behind the Blackbyrds, a group formed from his students at Howard University. Together with Larry Mizell, Byrd produced the Blackbyrds since 1973, successfully fusing soul and jazz into something that would have a major a impact on the radio, the dancefloor, and eventually generations of music lovers across the world. Walking In Rhythm: The Essential Selection 1973-1980 presents highlights from the band's entire career, a carefully curated selection of classics, album cuts, rarities, and even extended mixes taken from their eight albums for Fantasy Records as well as 12" singles. Aside from the countless sampled moments found in these grooves (these guys were sampled by everybody from De La Soul, Massive Attack, Gangstarr, and Ghostface, to Mac Dre, Big Sean, and Wiz Khalifa!), the Blackbyrd's also contributed major B-boy classics like "Blackbyrd's Theme" and "Rock Creek Park," as well as awesome chill out grooves that had a major influence on the 90's acid jazz movement. So great to have all these tracks on a single release for old heads and as an incredible jump off point for newcomers to the Blackbyrds sound. 24 tracks over triple vinyl, housed in gatefold sleeve with never before seen photos, extensive liner notes, and a newly-commissioned interview with original band members by A. Scott Galloway. Well recommended.
- music label: Decision Records 2013
reviewed by Von Bee 09/2013