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The music is very dated 70's blaxploitation, which happens to be one of my most favorite sounds. Plenty of flute and wah wah guitars. The vibe here is the ghetto in late afternoon when the street ladies start walking the beat. Actually this album is a loosely formed concept album based on a prostitute. This really isn't jazz - perhaps jazzy R&B or funk would be a better description. If you enjoy the background music in Curtis Mayfield and Bobby Womack cuts - you'll feel right at home with this one.
The comparison is one of opposites. While Miles was creating a pitch black, funky improvisational brew in the first half of the 1970s Byrd made a melodic, chipper funk, filled with flutes, voices, and his own sailing trumpet, You can even draw the opposition down to the playing: Miles spitting minimal wha wha nails, and Byrd sailing over the top with the same cheer as a bop record.
Byrd started this template with Blackbyrd--smooth jazz when the term meant chirping grooves provided by aces like bassist Chuck Rainy and, here, drummer Harvey Mason, and did not mean digital vanilla.
There is plenty of flavor-- and substance--to go around on this too often overlooked branch of 1970s jazz, and if you have dismissed music such as Street Lady, you just ain't listening.
"Lasana's Priestess" and "Miss Kane" are both fast paced and powerfully melodic funk grooves. The ARP synthesizer,Rhodes piano,wah-wah guitars and Mason's drumming are all orchestrated on both of these numbers in elongated musical numbers that evolve from frenetic to a calmer mood by songs end. "Sister Love" starts as a brooding piece based on the ARP bass and otherworldly falsetto vocal chanting before Byrd's spirited trumpet soloing takes the floor. The title song is a rhythmically intense groove based around Byrd's most flamboyant and fluent soloing on this album-finding him wrapping with a great level of sympathy about a prostitute-by-necessity. "Witch Hunt" is smoldering funk all the way-filled with burbling ARP bass,rich and flowing piano scaling for a truly cinematic groove.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For all the musicians that followed in the footsteps of the Great Donald Byrd, they can only hope to achieve what his legacy to music has given to the industry.Published on March 5, 2013 by Maryann Cummings
I love this album. The pace is blistering at times, the trumpet powerful and the groove just downright deep. Where's my ham sandwich (Cadillac Brougham in pimpin' terms).Published on May 16, 2009 by MJRydsFast
This CD drips with Donald Byrd's 70's funk/smooth/jazz sound. Lansana's Priestess is the gem of the album. This was one of the albums that helped my transition to jazz. Read morePublished on July 9, 2008 by collectionhog