[Marxism] Donald Byrd is dead

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 8 07:49:58 MST 2013

Legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd has died, says nephew

Influential musician's nephew reports that he died on Monday in 
Delaware, where he lived

David Batty
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 7 February 2013 20.01 EST

The influential jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd died on Monday at the age of 
80, his nephew has said.

Alex Bugnon, a jazz pianist, reported his uncle's death on Thursday, 
though it has yet to be confirmed.

Bugnon wrote on his own Facebook page: "Donald passed away Monday in 
Delaware, where he lived. His funeral will be held in Detroit sometime 
next week. I have no more patience for this unnecessary shroud of 
secrecy placed over his death by certain members of his immediate family."

Byrd was born Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II in Detroit in 1932 
and began his career with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the 1950s, 
performing alongside the likes of John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, 
Thelonious Monk and Herbie Hancock.

While his roots were in bebop he later became equally renowned for soul 
and funk, and particularly jazz fusion. He went on to become one of jazz 
label Blue Note's most significant artists, for whom he recorded most of 
his releases, including the 1973 album Black Byrd, which became the 
label's biggest ever seller.

Long after his commercial peak, Byrd's influence continued to be felt in 
popular music, sampled by hip-hop artists including Public Enemy, Nas, 
the Pharcyde and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and house producer Armand Van 

Byrd's legacy is summed up by his nephew's Facebook tribute: "Let's 
remember Donald as a one of a kind pioneer of the trumpet, of the many 
styles of music he took on, of music education. In sum, Donald was an 
avid, eternal student of music, until his death. That's what I try to 
be, everyday!! Rest in peace, uncle!"

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