This single-CD reissue pairs two blaxploitation soundtracks by different artists: 1975's Cornbread, Earl and Me, composed by Donald Byrd and performed by the Blackbyrds, and 1973's The Dynamite Brothers, composed and performed by Charles Earland. Cornbread, Earl and Me, which featured the movie debut of Larry Fishburne, is serviceable, routine soul-jazz background film music, varying between funk-jazz-rock vamps (such as the Sly Stone-styled instrumental workout "The One-Eye Two-Step"), snazzy jazzy bits for action scenes, and sentimental orchestrated interludes. There are also occasional vocal numbers in a pedestrian mid-'70s soul-jazz-rock mode, such as "The Cornbread Theme."
Flying Start is the second album by the American rhythm and blues and jazz-funk fusion group The Blackbyrds.
The Blackbyrds is the debut album by the American rhythm and blues and jazz-funk fusion group The Blackbyrds. Produced by Larry Mizell and Donald Byrd with production supervision by Orrin Keepnews.
Due largely to the inclusion of trumpeter Ron Haynes – a one-time Donald Byrd protege – the fourth entry by Ramsey Lewis' smooth jazz supergroup is reminiscent of Byrd's seminal 1970s recordings. While merely hinting at Byrd's proto-disco inventions, Urban Knights IV is nonetheless a modern update of the trumpeter's work with the Blackbyrds. Although this album is nowhere near as funky as, say, Electric Byrd, it does come off grittier than many albums by Urban Knights' contemporaries.
‘New American Suite’ from the newly form trio Kevin Toney 3 is a quality collection of piano driven jazz of a standard that befits Toney’s track-record as leader of the legendary The Blackbyrds and thirty year recording artist in his own right. In fact with Toney on keyboards, Michael Bradford on bass and Chris Coleman on drums, Kevin Toney 3 are a collective united in both their religion and their music. They prayer together and play together while the album’s nine hugely cinematic tracks acknowledge in music what Toney identifies as a recent paradigm shift in the USA toward real, forward thinking change. This vibrant recording is not ‘easy on the ear’ smooth jazz but is a sophisticated collection that has the power both to defy genres and delight those who listen.