Personnel: Donald Byrd (trumpet); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Duke Pearson (piano); Laymon Jackson (bass instrument); Philly Joe Jones (drums).
Long before he branched into a funky variant of (electric) fusion, trumpeter Donald Byrd was one of the most popular mainstays of hard bop. With an even-tempered but crackling tone, Byrd could (and did) shine (and swing) alongside icons Hank Mobley and Horace Silver. CAT is from the early 1960s, when he co-led a quintet with the fabulous, burly-sounding, and somewhat underrated baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams. Byrd combined the passionate technique of hard bop with the funkier aspects of soul-jazz for a series of smart, vibrantly engaging discs for Blue Note throughout the early and middle 1960s, with CAT WALK being among the finest.