At the Half Note Cafe is a live album by American trumpeter Donald Byrd recorded in 1960 at the Half Note in Manhattan and released on the Blue Note label originally as two single LP issues (BLP 4060 and BLP 4061). he Allmusic review by Thom Jurek awarded the album 4½ stars and stated "This was a hot quintet, one that not only swung hard, but possessed a deep lyricism and an astonishing sense of timing, and one need only this set by them to feel the full measure of their worth".
This 2004 remastered Rudy Van Gelder edition of Donald Byrd's At the Half Note Cafe (the original double-disc version was only issued for the first time in 2000) appears to add one extra track – "Theme (Pure D. Funk)," which clocks in at 1:51 and is also on the second volume in its full form, and a slightly shorter version of "Cecille." Here it clocks it at 12:52; on the 2000 issue it was 14:46. The sequence has also been altered slightly. The real deal is that, while this is the live date showcasing the Byrd quintet with Pepper Adams (and with Duke Pearson, Lex Humphries, and Laymon Jackson in the rhythm section), there is little here to make this worth purchasing yet again if you have the previous set.
A definite soul based session for Donald Byrd – and that's saying a lot here, because his previous decade's worth of work had all had some sort of R&B focus. The main force behind the set here is Isaac Hayes – who's producing, arranging, and playing most of the keyboards on the album. Oddly, Ike's not singing at all – and vocals are instead handled by Rose Williams, Diane Davis, Pat Lewis, and Myra Walker – plus the Hot Buttered Soul group on backing vocals.
Trumpeter Donald Byrd and baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams worked together on several recordings between 1958 and 1961, and The Cat Walk (released on LP in 1962) is among the best. A quintet setting, with pianist Duke Pearson (another longtime Byrd collaborator), bassist Laymon Jackson, and a lively Philly Joe Jones on drums joining the front line of Byrd and Adams, the sessions for The Cat Walk benefited from the writing and arrangement skills of Pearson, who contributes three compositions here, the impressive opener "Say You're Mine," "Duke's Mixture"…
Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II (December 9, 1932 – February 4, 2013) was an American jazz and rhythm and blues trumpeter. A sideman for many other jazz musicians of his generation, Byrd was best known as one of the only bebop jazz musicians who successfully pioneered the funk and soul genres while simultaneously remaining a jazz artist. As a bandleader, Byrd is also notable for his influential role in the early career of renowned keyboard player and composer Herbie Hancock.