Personnel: Donald Byrd (trumpet); Frank Foster (tenor saxophone); Hank Jones (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Kenny Clarke (drums).
Originally released on Savoy (MG 12032). Recorded September 29, 1955. Includes original release liner notes.
Before making his mark with several fine Blue Note albums from the late '50s and throughout the '60s (his stay with the label continued until 1978), trumpeter Donald Byrd got his start with several blowing dates for Savoy, Prestige, and a few other independents. This 1955 date for Savoy pitted Byrd with Basie alum and tenor saxophonist Frank Foster, pianist Hank Jones, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Kenny Clarke. The group romps through a mix of standards ("Someone to Watch Over Me," "Star Eyes"), a Foster original ("Winterset"), and some band collaborations. While not on par with Byrd's much more polished efforts for Blue Note, Byrd's Word is fine for fans in the mood for some loose '50s hard bop. ~ Stephen Cook
Down Beat (3/93, p.35) - 4 Stars - Very Good - "...a hard-core 1955 recording with tenorist Frank Foster and sublime drumwork from Kenny Clarke..."