Sunday, 10 February 2013

In Memory Of Mr. Donald Byrd: Street Lady (1973)

DB Street Lady
Donald Byrd

”Street Lady”
( LP Blue Note Records, 1973 )
Catalog # BN-LA140-F

A1 Lansana’s Priestress (7:42)
A2 Miss Kane (7:35)
A3 Sister Love (6:46)
B1 Street Lady (5:39)
B2 Witch Hunt (9:43)
B3 Woman Of The World (6:55)

Personnel & Credits:
Bass [Fender] – Chuck Rainey
Clavinet, Trumpet – Fonce Mizell
Congas – King Errisson
Drums – Harvey Mason
Engineer [Assistant] – Chuck Davis , John Arias
Engineer [Recording] – John Mills
Engineer [Remix] – Chuck Davis , John Arias , John Mills
Executive Producer – George Butler
Flute – Roger Glenn
Guitar – David T. Walker
Percussion – Stephanie Spruill
Photography [Cover], Artwork By – Mike Salisbury
Photography [Liner] – Norman Seef
Piano, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Jerry Peters
Producer, Arranged By, Conductor – Larry Mizell
Synthesizer [Arp] – Fred Perren
Technician [Technical Director] – Chuck Davis
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Vocals [Solo] – Donald Byrd
Vocals, Arranged By [Vocals] – Fonce Mizell , Fred Perren, Larry Mizell
Written-By – Edward Gordon (tracks: B3) , Larry Mizell

Donlad Byrd Street Lady BL

''Street Lady''


Recording Date: June 13, 14 & 15, 1973.
Recorded at Sound Factory, Hollywood, California.
Mastered at Mastering Lab, Hollywood, California.
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Gatefold Sleeve
Country: US
Released: 1973


Not so much a fusion album as an attempt at mainstream soul and R&B, Street Lady plays like the soundtrack to a forgotten blaxploitation film. Producer/arranger/composer Larry Mizell conceived Street Lady as a concept album to a spirited, independent prostitute, and while the hooker with a heart of gold concept is a little trite, the music uncannily evokes an urban landscape circa the early ’70s. Borrowing heavily from Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, and Sly Stone, Donald Byrd and Mizell have created an album that is overflowing with wah-wah guitars, stuttering electric pianos, percolating percussion, soaring flutes, and charmingly anemic, tuneless vocals. It’s certainly not jazz, or even fusion, but it isn’t really funk or R&B, either — the rhythms aren’t elastic enough, and all of the six songs are simply jazzy vamps without clear hooks. But the appeal of Street Lady is how its polished neo-funk and pseudo-fusion sound uncannily like a jive movie or television soundtrack from the early ’70s — you can picture the Street Lady, decked out in polyester, cruising the streets surrounded by pimps with wide-brimmed hats and platform shoes. And while that may not be ideal for jazz purists, it’s perfect for kitsch and funk fanatics.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine (All Music Guide)

A landmark album by Donald Byrd – the first one where he really started to click with jazz-funk producer Larry Mizell! Mizell and Byrd had worked together previously on the Black Byrd album – a soaring bit of futuristic jazz funk that took Byrd's career to a whole new level – but this album's the one where they really began to make the formula cook, blending together tight funky rhythms, spacey keyboards, soulful vocals, and some of Donald's best solo work of the 70s! The whole thing's a masterpiece, and all tracks sparkle – including "Lansana's Priestess", "Witch Hunt", and "Street Lady", one of the funkiest tracks ever on Blue Note. A haunting record with a beautiful spacey groove, and one of the best-ever albums on Blue Note!
© 1996-2011, Dusty Groove America, Inc.


''Sister Love''

Street Lady seems to be laid out like a concept album, a tribute of sorts to the street walker, the lady of the night. As a whole, it definitely is on par with many OST’s of the early 70′s (even though it isn’t an OST), and could easily fit in with those early 70′s police or detective shows. You know the ones, where the detective is under cover like Serpico, jumping out of a garbage can waving his pistol at the perp, eventually pinning him down on the corner while ladies working the corner giggle. It’s almost as if Larry Mizell said to Donald Byrd: “We need to get a record moving like Curtis or Isaac, or maybe even Sly at some point, you dig?” The addition of the funky wah wah guitars, synth like keyboard sounds (played by Fred Perren on Arp), and a pounding back beat go from R & B to Funk to Fusion to Jazz, but never really stop on one genre. This keeps the listener’s attention, because before you know it, that Jazz beat has gone into some synthesizer groove with spacey vocals. It’s definitely a ghetto anthem of sorts overall, crafted around ladies walking their beat. Perfect listening for a Sunday morning on your stoop, coffee in hand, just chillin’. A superb output from Byrd and the Mizells.
From Flea Market Funk

On Line:
All Music Guide
Dusty Groove 
Flea Market Funk 

Jazz Disco Organization

Original Post: 05-Sep-07

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