The Blackbyrds

Drawing comparisons with the likes of Sly & the Family Stone, Parliament and Earth, Wind & Fire, The Blackbyrds created some of the smoothest, most soulful funk of the 1970s, and were later sampled by scores of 1990s hip hop acts. Formed when band leader and jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd was teaching music at Howard University and recruited his students for local shows, the group's melting pot sound of jazz, soul, rhythm and blues and funk captured the mood of the times and grooved to the positive ideas stemming from the black power movement. They went on to support Roberta Flack, B.B. King and The Temptations, and second album Flying Start (1974) produced their big US Top 10 hit Walking In Rhythm, which reached Number 6 in the charts, sold over a million copies and was nominated for a Grammy Award. Though huge fame eluded the band, their albums City Life (1975) and Unfinished Business (1976) were well respected in both jazz and soul circles and their track Rock Creek went on to be widely sampled by De La Soul, Massive Attack, Nas, NWA and Ice Cube. The band split in 1981, but were revived by drummer Kevin Toney in 2012.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring The Blackbyrds

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.