A New Perspective cover

A New Perspective


The iconic cover featuring the trumpet player posing with a 60s Jaguar sports car alone would make Donald Byrd’s 1964 LP worth purchasing, but even if the record had come housed in a hessian sack it would be considered a milestone in jazz. There’s a religious theme within A New Perspective, evident both in the titles of its five tracks — “Elijah,” “Beast Of Burden,” “Christo Redentor,” “Black Disciple,” “Chant” — and the vocal choir that floats over the effortless bop of Byrd’s assembled players, but more than anything, it’s the freedom and diversity of the soloists (including Herbie Hancock on piano) as they stretch out beyond the parameters of “cool” jazz that lays the foundations for the next level spiritual excursions of John Coltrane.

Chris Catchpole

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