Rudy Van Gelder
DEMO QUALITY SOUND! This Blue Note LP absolutely MURDERS most of the copies we’ve played. It’s unbelievably transparent and lively with superb trumpet sound. The vocals sound AMAZING -- with this kind of transparency, you can easily pick out and follow each voice. It’s warm, sweet, rich, full-bodied, and tonally correct from top to bottom. The guitar sound is tubey magical, the piano has real weight, and the sax sounds just right.
The music is WONDERFUL -- this is a top-notch seven piece jazz combo joined by an authentic gospel choir. You probably don't have too many records like this in your collection, that's for sure. The All Music Guide gives it 5 big stars, and we wholeheartedly agree.
It has more immediacy and is more transparent on the top end than the average copy BY FAR. The earlier pressings we've heard didn't blow us away. This record is cut cleaner, and there's more there there. To hear the real Blue Note magic, play Beast of Burden on side one -- you'll hear some real audiophile Demo Disc sound.
Tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley; guitarist Kenny Burrell, pianist Herbie Hancock; Donald Best on vibes; Butch Warren on bass; Lex Humphies on drums; eight-voice choir directed by Coleridge Perkinson; arrangements by Duke Pearson.
Beast of Burden
The Black Disciple
The Black Disciple
This unusual set was one of the most successful uses of a gospel choir in a jazz context. Trumpeter Donald Byrd and a septet that also includes tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and pianist Herbie Hancock are joined by an eight-voice choir directed by Coleridge Perkinson. The arrangements by Duke Pearson are masterful and one song, "Cristo Redentor," became a bit of a hit. This is a memorable effort that is innovative in its own way, a milestone in Donald Byrd's career.