The Rudy Van Gelder Edition of A NEW PERSPECTIVE includes an essay by Bob Blumenthal.
Personnel includes: Donald Byrd (trumpet); Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Donald Best (vibraphone); Herbie Hancock (piano); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Butch Warren (bass); Lex Humphries (drums).
Producer: Alfred Lion.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on January 12, 1963. Includes liner notes by Nat Hentoff and Bob Blumenthal.
Digitally remastered by Rudy Van Gelder (1998, Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey).
This is part of the Blue Note Rudy Van Gelder Editions series.
A NEW PERSPECTIVE stands out from most other Blue Note releases of the era. A groundbreaking record in its use of a gospel choir in a jazz setting, it's unlike anything Blue Note had released before. In addition to the eight-person choir and arrangements by Duke Pearson, Donald Byrd works with a septet that includes pianist Herbie Hancock, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and saxophonist Hank Mobley.
Pearson contributes two compositions, the easily swinging "Chant" and "Cristo Redentor," a stately, ghostly tune that became a hit on the album's release. In the arrangements, the choir functions as an instrument, with voices closely recorded, making its presence intimate and palpable. The septet performs beautifully, with Burrell's guitar and Donald Best's vibes providing shimmering contrast to the horns on the aforementioned tunes, and on the Byrd originals "Elijah" and "The Black Disciple." Distinctive and inventive, A NEW PERSPECTIVE is a high watermark in Byrd's discography.