The Blackbyrds - Blackbyrds | Beverly Phono MartNew/Mint. 2014 vinyl LP pressing reissue of the 1974 debut album by the American R&B/jazz-funk fusion group, The Blackbyrds, this eponymous release is the product of six full-time Howard University students taking the direction of department head and jazz great Donald Byrd into the Fantasy Studios along with the aid of production wizard Larry Mizell (Jackson 5, Gary Bartz). The end result is nothing less than stunning as the band lays down some of the tastiest groove-oriented jazz music ever recorded. With Joe Hall on bass and Keith Killgo on drums, the rhythm section anchors a solid foundation capable of keeping the dancefloor full and providing a base for the rest of the band's soulful explorations. Kevin Toney supplies supple keyboard work and Barney Perry keeps it funky on the guitar, setting the pace for what would be a genre-defining LP and a breakthrough in jazz-funk crossover. Essential listening for all fans of jazz, funk, and feel good pop music.