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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitve Byrd album of the 70's, 27 Feb 2001
By 
This review is from: Places and Spaces (Audio CD)
What can be said about this classic album from Donald Byrd? Certainly the collaboration with his students the Mizell brothers would ensure that this would be a different experience. Once the album Blackbyrd had been released you could see the direction that Byrd was moving in and this would be the seminal jazz-funk album of the 70's. Many others would turn to the Mizell brothers for influence including, Johnny Hammond, Roger Glenn, Gary Bartz and Bobbi Humphrey. If you love your Jazz, funky and groovy then it doesn't come much better than this.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply, the greatest, 21 Oct 2006
By 
David Johnson "El Burrito" (Buenos Aires) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Places and Spaces (Audio CD)
This is quite simply the most funky,smooth, joyous and uplifting 35 minutes you are ever likely to listen to. I haven't written many reviews for Amazon recently but felt the need to come out of retirement after hearing this. This is a beautiful amalgam of searing string arrangements, soft vocals and trembling trumpet. It all fits together seamlessly to make the perfect soundtrack to a summers day or a happy moment. I can't stop bouncing up and down to the stomping,"Change." Check out the bassline on,"Dominoes," it makes the track. "You and the music," has a groove that just gets right under the skin.

I recognised this as a classic on the first listen. If everybody grew up on this the world would be a lot better place. You'll never stop listening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Funky Nirvana..." - Places And Spaces by DONALD BYRD (1997 CD "Blue Note Rare Groove Series" Remaster), 15 Aug 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Places and Spaces (Audio CD)
With a near 60-year career stretching back to 1955 (he sadly passed away in 2013) - Michigan's DONALD BYRD was smart enough to see the musical writing on the wall in the early Seventies. He jumped at the chance to move from straight-up Jazz and began a run of peerless Jazz Fusion masterpieces that Funk fans adore to this day.

Beginning with his "Black Byrd" album in 1972 on Blue Note, "Street Lady" in 1973 and "Stepping Into Tomorrow" in 1974 - he finally made his way to what I think is his bona-fide masterpiece - 1975's "Places And Spaces". Whenever a copy would turn up in Reckless (even in the early Nineties) - we'd give it pride of place on the wall - and it would last hours rather than days (priced at £30 back when thirty smackers was a huge amount to pay for a vinyl LP). And the passing decades haven't diminished its Funky impact one jot. In fact it not only stands up as a great overall listen today (2014) - but "Places And Spaces" only seems to get hipper with the passing of time.

The vinyl LP was originally released in November 1975 in the USA on Blue Note BN-LA549-G and Blue Note UAG 20001 in the UK. The 1997 CD remaster on EMI/BLUE NOTE CDP 8543262 is part of their BLUE NOTE RARE GROOVE SERIES and features a mere gatefold slip of paper as an insert. But the remaster is fabulous - full of detail - all that string and trumpet playing hitting your speakers with lovely full-bodied clarity (35:51 minutes).

The album has only 7 tracks - all of which are Trumpet Fusion Jazz (Flugelhorn too) with some intermittent scatting vocals on the chorus by KAY HEATH and the MIZELL Brothers. With the strings arranged by WADE MARCUS - songwriters LARRY and FONCE MIZELL seemed to give BYRD the fusion tunes he needed to let rip. It opens with the joyous party-time of "Change (Makes You Want To Hustle)" - a playlist winner if ever there was one. Kay Heath's vocals lead the chorus on the upbeat "Wind Parade" and then we're onto one of the album's highlights - a huge funky tune - "Dominoes".

As if it couldn't get any better than a perfect Side 1 - Side 2 opens with the best - the glorious title track. It never ceases to send me - especially the warbling Trumpet solo he does towards the end. "You And Your Music" turns up the funky drums and piano (Harvey Mason and Skip Scarborough) while "Night Whistler" gets all slinky Steely Dan (circa Royal Scam and Aja) with cleverly treated echoes on the lead instruments. It ends on a Temptations cover version - "Just My Imagination" which is oddly the least successful of all the tunes. He would follow "Places And Spaces" with the equally popular "Caricatures" in 1976 (they used its drawing sleeve on his "Best Of" CD).

I've loved "Places And Spaces" for 40 years now - what a winner. In truth I do wish the CD wasn't so basic - and I'd love to hear any kind of outtakes from the sessions - but that's another reissue. In the meantime - get this funky joy into your life real soon....yeah baby...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just let it play, 19 July 2010
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This review is from: Places and Spaces (Audio CD)
Put this on and just let it play.... no review that I could write could even begin to do justice to this album. Rarely have I come across an album without fillers on but this is one, I played this everywhere I went for about a month and turned about a dozen people on to Donald Byrd....a truly brilliant album.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Classic, 17 Mar 2008
This review is from: Places and Spaces (Audio CD)
This is an album that I came to fairly late (in relative terms), having heard DJ Jazzy Jeff use elements of 'Change (Makes You Want To Hustle)' and 'Places And Spaces' in the track 'A Touch Of Jazz'. Having liked the short pieces Jeff used it was relatively easy to find out what the tracks were and this naturally led to wanting to hear more of Donald Byrd. That eventually led me to this album.

This is Jazz-Funk at its very best, and as other reviewers have indicated, the production work of the Mizzel Brothers stands out. Jazz purists might be tempted to scoff at the notion of this strange hybrid, a fusion of Jazz, Funk and other elements of popular Black music, but for listeners seeking 'the groove' this album will draw you in through its sheer listenability and standard of musicianship. 'Dominoes', 'Places And Spaces', 'Music And You', there really isn't a poor track on here. Although relatively short, this is an album where the qualitative outweighs the quantative, and for those embarking on an exploration of Jazz or Jazz Funk this album is an essential purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply the greatest ever jazz/fink album made, 15 July 2014
By 
Colin Sinfield (Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Places and Spaces (Audio CD)
Quite simply the greatest ever jazz/fink album made. So many stand out tracks but it is always Dominoes that gets the lion share of attention. For me, Wind Parade is perfection from the opening notes it builds into something quite flawless in it's execution. Never has 'cowbell' sounded so good. If you love music then this album is a 'must have'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A FABULOUS, WIDE-RANGING ORCHESTRAL TRIUMPH, 11 July 2013
By 
RSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Places and Spaces (Audio CD)
Five HUGE Stars! Donald Byrd Is AMAZING!! Throughout his wide-ranging career, he has kept us guessing as he has explored the jazz music world HIS WAY! From the early straight ahead quintets, to the tone row experiments of "Free Form", to the huge orchestral palette of "Electric Byrd", to the gospel-inflected work of "Cristo Redentor" from "Thank You for FUML", to "(High) Stepping into Tomorrow" with the amazing song "Rock and Roll Again", he has covered the map with musical wonderfulness. Now, HERE, he wants us to get up and dance, tap our feet, and nod our heads, taking us on an imaginary trip to a wonderful place.

This CD has airplanes on the cover and that defines the expansiveness of the music. Mr Byrd uses a huge, string-laden orchestra, larger than "Electric Byrd", it seems. And the title track "Spaces and Places" is an AMAZING piece of music. From the insistent guitar vamp, to the killer orchestral arrangement, to a cameo by the Black Byrds, it provides a launching pad for Byrd's soaring, beautiful, and spare statements. This is fabulous music that one can enjoy in a variety of situations. It describes the immensity of the vistas of the western USA. And it takes it's time building over and over, swirling and turning beautifully as it reaches a climax and begins again. FANTASTIC! Disco? No, but it was recorded early enough that it may well have influenced disco and Gary Bartz' amazing disco "Giant Steps" performance (If you haven't heard Bartz' disco "Giant Steps" from the "Love Affair" CD, you need to hear it).

Funk rises like steam on "(Fallin' Like) Dominoes", "Change (Makes You Want to Hustle), and "You and The Music" with a sizzling vocal by Kay Haith that will slow your breathing in vocal duet with Donald Byrd himself. Other 'Pieces D'Resistence' are a shimmering "Wind Parade" with Kay's vocal coloring the proceedings. And the climax is a fantastic "Just My Imagination" with the Black Byrds. Guys, this is a great, dance-able, listen-able beauty of a CD. One of my favorite CD's for driving, flying, making out, or anything. Donald, Thank you for FUML (Funking Up My Life). Five BEAUTIFUL Stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars great stuff, 27 May 2013
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This review is from: Places and Spaces (MP3 Download)
Great stuff, has great summer tunes, loved it! The kind of music you have on a Sunday afternoon with a fine bbq going and a cold beer in hand.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Mizell Brothers Productions, 2 April 2013
By 
MikeyC "MikeyC" (Bedfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Places and Spaces (Audio CD)
I too must agree with the other reviewers of this disc. I have the original vinyl and Donald Byrd's intelligent playing , along with the other musicians, makes this more than just repetitive Jazz Funk fusion from the late '70's early '80's. The tracks still stand up to listing today (2013) and overall a very good example of Jazz Funk fusion of the period.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As always a brilliant artist, 17 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Places and Spaces (Audio CD)
Always loved his music and this album reinforces my love. Just total quality and groovy tunes. Thanks for a great addition to my collection.
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Places and Spaces
Places and Spaces by Donald Byrd (Audio CD - 1997)
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