Charlie Byrd Trio – Travellin’ Man (1965)

FrontCover1Charlie Lee Byrd (September 16, 1925 – December 2, 1999) was an American jazz guitarist. Byrd was best known for his association with Brazilian music, especially bossa nova. In 1962, he collaborated with Stan Getz on the album Jazz Samba, a recording which brought bossa nova into the mainstream of North American music.

Byrd played fingerstyle on a classical guitar. (by wikipedia)

Travellin’ Man (issued in 1965) is a live gig at the Showboat in Washington D.C., a club he was playing in — and owned — 36 weeks out of the year. He is featured with his bass playing brother Joe, and the rather astonishing drummer Bill Reichenbach. The program consists of everything from originals like the title cut and the country and bluegrass tinged opener “Mama I’ll Be Home Someday” to Michel Legrand’s “I Will Wait for You.” With tunes like the Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim standard “Do I Hear a CharlieByrd02Waltz,” Billy Strayhorn’s “U.M.M.G.,” and Django Reinhardt’s “Nuages” sandwiched in between. It’ is a hard swinging date where Byrd, a great melodic improviser, turns original arrangements inside out and pours his love for bossa and blues into everything he plays. The latter album, A Touch of Gold, was recorded and released in 1966 and was thought to be a great departure for the hard swinging jazzman.

The set featured a full backing band with horns and strings and a backing vocal chorus arranged by Charlie Callello. The tunes were regarded derogatorily in many quarters as “pop songs” — and that may be exactly why Byrd loved them. The opening bars of “In My Room, (El Amor)” by Lee Pockriss borrows its opening statement from George Gershwin’s “Summertime,” Byrd, of course moves through its beautiful Latin modes and harmonies effortlessly, allowing the rhythms full free range play inside it. Likewise, his bossa version of “The Shadow of Your Smile,” where samba rhythms permeate the arrangements and Byrd’s solo plays counterpoint to the melody in places only enhances the lyric of the tune, rather than take away from it. (by Thom Jurek)

Recorded live at The Showboat / Washington, D.C.

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Personnel:
Charlie Byrd (guitar)
Joe Byrd (bass)
Billy Reichenbach (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Mama I’ll Be Home Someday (Byrd) 4.19
02. The Folks Who Live on the Hill/Yesterdays (Harbach/Hammerstein II/Kern) 6.02
03. Blues For Felix (Byrd) 3.59
04. U.M.M.G. (Strayhorn) 3.32
05. I Hear A Rhapsody (Baker/Fragos/Gasparre) 4.44
06. In The Name Of Love (Levitt/Rankin) 3.59
07. I Will Wait For You (Legrand) 2.07
08. Do I Hear A Waltz? (Rodgers) 2.15
09. Travellin’ Man (Byrd) 3.05
10. Nuages (Reinhardt) 3.58
11. Just Squeeze Me (But Don’t Tease Me) (Ellington/Gaines) 3.14

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CharlieByrd03Charlie Lee Byrd (September 16, 1925 – December 2, 1999)

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