Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Donald Byrd - 1975 - Places and Spaces

AMG Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine:

"Reuniting with Larry Mizell, the man behind his last three LPs, Donald Byrd continues to explore contemporary soul, funk, and R&B with Places and Spaces. In fact, the record sounds more urban than its predecessor, which often played like a Hollywood version of the inner city. Keeping the Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, and Sly Stone influences of Street Lady, Places and Spaces adds elements of Marvin Gaye, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Stevie Wonder, which immediately makes the album funkier and more soulful. Boasting sweeping string arrangements, sultry rhythm guitars, rubbery bass, murmuring fl├╝gelhorns, and punchy horn charts, the music falls halfway between the cinematic neo-funk of Street Lady and the proto-disco soul of Earth, Wind & Fire. Also, the title Places and Spaces does mean something — there are more open spaces within the music, which automatically makes it funkier. Of course, it also means that there isn't much of interest on Places and Spaces for jazz purists, but the album would appeal to most fans of Philly soul, lite funk, and proto-disco."

Donald Byrd (tp/flh/vcl/prod), Fonce Mizell (tp/clavinet/vcl/prod), Larry Mizell (p/vcl/prod), Skip Scarborough (eP), Chuck Rainey (eB), Craig McMullen, John Rowin (g), Tyree Glenn (ts), Ray Brown (tp), George Bohannon (tb), James Carter (whistles), Harvey Mason, Sr. (d), King Errisson (cga), Mayuto Correa (cga/per), Kay Haith (vcl), Wade Marcus (con/string arr); recorded on 18, 20 & 25 August, 1975

01. Change (Makes You Want to Hustle)
02. Wind Parade
03. Fallin’ like Dominoes
04. Places and Spaces
05. You and the Music
06. Night Whistler
07. Just My Imagination