Royal Flush W/ Herbie Hancock
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Recorded in the fall of 1961, Royal Flush showcases Donald Byrd (1932-2013) playing with baritonesaxophonist Pepper Adams, bassist Butch Warren, drummer Billy Higgins, and, most importantly, a young Herbie Hancock on piano. For the most part, the quintet plays a set of vital hard bop, swinging away on the bluesy groove “Hush” and laying back on the pop standard “I’m a Fool to Want You”. But what’s really interesting is when they begin pushing the boundaries of bop. All three of Byrd’s original piecesare harmonically complex and have subtly shifting rhythms. Hancock’s “Requiem” calls attention to its fluid melodic lines and rhythm. This was Hancock’s first Blue Note session to be released.
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, September 21, 1961.