Donald Byrd & Kenny Burrell
Recorded in Hackensack, NJ; December 28, 1956.
Tracks 5 & 6 are additional tracks not on original LP.
Digital mastering, 1990 (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley)
Two of guitarist Kenny Burrell's best sessions from the 1950s were this release and its companion, All Day Long. Burrell is teamed with an impressive group of young all-stars, including trumpeter Donald Byrd, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, Jerome Richardson on flute and tenor, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor. In addition to the lengthy "All Night Long" and three group originals (two by Mobley and one from Waldron), the original LP program has been augmented by a medley of "Body and Soul" and "Tune Up" from the same session. Jam sessions such as this one are only as good as the solos; fortunately, all of the musicians sound quite inspired, making this an easily recommended set.
All Music Guide
========= from the cover ==========
In the past few years, a new group of young musicians has sprung up in New York. Consisting of men native to, or long-time residents of, the metropolitan area and its environs, plus a portion of the host of emigres which New York has always attracted, this body of modern blowers has populated most of the important small groups in the East during the last three or four years. Since New York is the home base of operations for these groups, there is a nucleus of jazzmen more or less in residence here, who feel and play alike.
Jackie McLean, Arthur Taylor, Sonny Rollins, Walter Bishop, Kenny Drew, Cecil Payne and Mal Waldron are native New Yorkers; Hank Mobley, Kenny Dorham, Idrees Sulieman, and Lou Donaldson have lived here so long that they are like natives. In the Fifties, Horace Silver, Gigi Gryce, John Coltrane and Philly Joe Jones arrived from nearby Eastern cities; from California we welcomed Art Farmer and Jerome Richardson; the strong Detroit contingent has included Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers, Doug Watkins, Kenny Burrell and Tommy Flanagan. They are New Yorkers by choice.
Groups like Art Blakey's, Horace Silver's, Miles Davis', Max Roach's and many other less-permanent splinter units have been and are being peopled by these musicians. Although there are many individual differences in interpretation within their ranks, there are certain qualities which the members of the New York "funky" modern school have in common.
The word "funky" is the denominator. Originally, funky meant dirty, smelly, undesirable; its usage today, has evolved to the point where, although it still occasionally signifies these traits through the means of inflection and situation, its main meaning is earthy and bluesy and pertains to the presence of these characteristics in modern jazz.
The characteristics themselves have always been present in jazz; in fact they stem from the "barrelhouse" piano and "down home" blues of the earlier periods. Players from King Oliver to Charlie Parker have had funk in their work. However, it was never a concentrated element in modern jazz as it has become since it was fused to Bop in the early Fifties. Perhaps Horace Silver cannot be given full credit for the funky movement but his emergence as an important modern jazzman really brought funk into focus and to the fore.
Naturally, the blues are very important to this group of musicians and the minor keys are also extremely relevant to their musical philosophy. In this set of extended, hard digging (but not without sensitivity), blowing, both these elements are in strong evidence.
All Night Long almost lived up to its title literally even though the session was taped in the afternoon and continued into early evening. The implied title meaning of the omnipresence of the blues feeling, is certainly there. Actually it is a 44 bar figure with the 12 bar blues pattern repeated twice followed by an 8 bar bridge of "Rhythm" and another 12 bars of blues changes. Art Taylor starts things with a Jones-like (Jo not Philly Joe) intro rhythm on his hi-hats. Kenny Burrell begins the soloing, immediately, with a Christian attitude and goes on to show his wonderful grasp of jazz fundamentals and the modern idiom. Jerome Richardson, whose flute sound suggested to me what Oscar Williams'* chromium birds might sound like, follows. Then the ever-developing, consistent Hank Mobley speaks his piece and is in turn by the exuberance of Donald Byrd's trumpet. Richardson makes his second entrance for his only tenor solo of the date with the band riffing in back of him with a figure that was also heard on Miles Davis' Walkin'. After Mal Waldron, a highly individual modernist whose antecedents include Powell (Bud), Monk, even a 'trace of Dameron, and who has been influenced more recently in a general manner by Silver, plays his solo, the 4 bar exchanges begin with Mobley, Richardson (returned to the flute), Burrell, Byrd and Taylor. Then Taylor drops out of the soloing and the chases continue. Burrell comes back in for another solo and then everyone riffs it out to a finish. Taylor gets the last word.
Li'l Hankie by Mobley is a minor lament with effective use of flute on the bridge. Solos are by Mobley, Byrd (muted), Burrell, Richardson and Waldron. Conversation involves Mobley, Byrd and Richardson.
Flickers, perhaps a salute to the movies (if so, the mystery variety) by Waldron is another minor structure with the use of an interlude at the end of each chorus. Richardson, Byrd and Mobley solo in that order. Then Donald and Hank trade "twos". Burrell then solos followed by composer Waldron.
Yet another minor is Boo-Lu by Mobley. It is no relation to Blue Lou but rather a resident of North Africa, a nocturnal denizen of the country next to Algeria. Richardson has a mood setting intro before Taylor sets the rhythmic pattern. Jerome carries the theme with Burrell chording the bridge. Richardson, as an African nightbird, has the first solo and Burrell, Byrd, Mobley and Waldron follow in that order. Richardson and Burrell combine as they do in the first chorus to close the piece.
- Ira Gitler