Ethiopian Knights

Who, What, When, Where

  • Donaldson Toussaintt L’Overture Byrd II
  • Born December 9th 1932 
  • Accomplished trumpeter and performed with Lionel Hampton in his high school years 
  • went to Wayne State University for undergrad. Got his masters at the Manhattan School of Music.
  • 1958 signed an exclusive recording contract with Blue Note. 
  • Got into fusion in conjunction with Larry and Fonce Mizell.
  • First collaboration 1972

The Album...

  • Three songs on the album 
  • Released – 1973
  • The Emperor 15:40
  • Jamie 4:00
  • The Little Rasti 17:44

A Break Down..

Out of the three songs Jamie is the shortest. It starts with and organ drums and guitars. the sound feels like a mix of soul and funk. at 0:47 the trumpet begins playing and carries the melody which originally was given to the organ in the beginning.  The over all feel of the songs has a very laid back vibe to it. although the trumpet of the show the guitar’s licks and improve adds to the piece’s overall aesthetic and feel. As the piece comes to a close all the instruments slowly fades away. 

The Emperor is the first song that you hear on the album. It comes in with a vary funky beat starting with the guitar and bass and slowly stars adding texture by adding other instruments like drums and various percussion.  At about 1:20 the trumpet comes in and begins playing the melody adding the jazz element to this very funky beat. You continue to get that funk sound with some of the licks Bryd chooses to play. It fits so seamlessly into the sound that you get the cohesion. 

The little Rasti starts of with just drums but only certain sounds can be heard along with limited percussion in the beginning. after about 1:30 a guitar is introduced and with it so is the funk beat. the guitar is the star of the piece in the beginning and explores both jazz side and the funk side so well. The trumpet comes in and really adds to the sound because of the texture the timbre adds.  This is the last piece on the album and it sums it up nicely. 

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