Donald Byrd’s Fuego is one of the many fine hard-bop sets the trumpeter recorded for Blue Note throughout the late 1950s and ’60s. Featuring all Byrd originals, from the driving pulse of the opening title track to the gospel-tinged “Amen,” which closes out the album, Fuego has much to recommend it. There are top-notch personnel (Jackie McLean lends his soulful sax work to the proceedings), strong compositions, and a relaxed, open feel throughout. And, of course, Rudy Van Gelder’s pristine engineering is the icing on the cake.
Personnel: Donald Byrd (trumpet); Jackie McLean (alto saxophone); Duke Pearson (piano); Doug Watkins (bass); Lex Humphries (drums).
02. Bup A Loup
03. Funky Mama
04. Low Life