Donald Byrd / Gigi Gryce – Jazz Lab

Thanks! Share it with your friends!


Jazz Lab is an album by American jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd and saxophonist Gigi Gryce featuring tracks recorded in 1957 for the Columbia label and released in 1957.

“Alto saxophonist/arranger Gigi Gryce and trumpeter Donald Byrd’s innovative, but unfortunately short-lived Jazz Lab Quintet recorded several sides during 1957, seven of which were released on this excellent Columbia album (a handful of other titles were collectively made for Riverside, Verve, and RCA). The nucleus band of Gryce, Byrd, pianist Tommy Flanagan (a spot also filled by Wade Legge and Hank Jones), bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Art Taylor are augmented on four cuts here by trombonists Benny Powell and Jimmy Cleveland, French horn player Julius Watkins, baritone saxophonist Sahib Shihab, and tuba player Don Butterfield. The expanded ensemble turn in fleetly swinging renditions of Horace Silver’s “Speculation” and Gryce’s “Nica’s Tempo,” while varying the mood a bit with a ballad reading of Benny Golson’s “I Remember Clifford” and a Far East-tinged waltz take on Randy Weston’s “Little Niles” (shades of Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool group are heard in the complex, yet featherweight arrangements by Gryce). The quintet tracks include Gryce’s “Sans Souci” and a provocative version of “Over the Rainbow.” With some of the best arrangements heard in jazz and excellent solos by Gryce, Byrd, and Flanagan, Jazz Lab makes for an excellent introduction to the hard bop catalog.” – Stephen Cook/AlMusic.

Track listing:
“Speculation” (Horace Silver) – 3:38
“Over the Rainbow” (Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg) – 8:21
“Nica’s Tempo” (Gigi Gryce) – 5:27
“Blue Concept” (Gigi Gryce) – 5:03
“Little Niles” (Randy Weston) – 7:04
“Sans Souci” (Gigi Gryce) – 7:17
“I Remember Clifford” (Benny Golson) – 4:57
Recorded in New York City on February 4, 1957 (tracks 1 & 3), February 5, 1957 (tracks 2 & 6), and March 13, 1957 (tracks 4, 5 & 7)

Gigi Gryce – alto saxophone
Donald Byrd – trumpet
Jimmy Cleveland (tracks 5 & 7), Benny Powell (tracks 1 & 3) – trombone
Julius Watkins – French horn (tracks 1, 3, 5 & 7)
Don Butterfield – tuba (tracks 1, 3, 5 & 7)
Sahib Shihab – baritone saxophone (tracks 1, 3, 5 & 7)
Tommy Flanagan (tracks 1-3 & 6), Wade Legge (tracks 4, 5 & 7) – piano
Wendell Marshall – bass
Art Taylor – drums


Released: 1957
Recorded: February 4 & 5 and March 13, 1957
New York City
Label: Columbia
CL 998