At the Half Note Cafe
Live album by
RecordedNovember 11, 1960
Length121:26 (Double CD reissue)
LabelBlue Note
Donald Byrd chronology
Byrd in Flight
At the Half Note Cafe
Motor City Scene
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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) and reissued as a double CD set.[1]



The 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'.[2]The Penguin Guide to Jazz wrote that the sessions were 'impeccable played and atmospherically recorded, but they tend to show off the best and worst of Byrd: [...] he peels off chorus after chorus of manicured licks, and the process gets repeated throughout'.[3]

Professional ratings
Review scores
The Penguin Guide to Jazz[3]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Donald Byrd except as indicated
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  1. Introduction by Ruth Mason - 1:20
  2. 'My Girl Shirl' (Duke Pearson) - 10:32
  3. 'Soulful Kiddy' - 9:55
  4. 'Child's Play' (Byrd, Pearson) - 8:45
  5. 'Chant' (Pearson) - 11:03
  6. 'A Portrait of Jennie' (Gordon Burdge, J. Russel Robinson) 6:48
  7. 'Cecile' - 14:46
  8. 'Jeannine' (Oscar Brown, Jr., Pearson) - 13:08
  9. 'Pure D. Funk' - 6:09
  10. 'Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea' (Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler) - 9:54
  11. 'Theme from Mr. Lucky' (Henry Mancini) - 10:51
  12. 'Kimyas' - 11:58
  13. 'When Sunny Gets Blue' (Marvin Fisher, Jack Segal) - 6:17
    • Recorded at the Half Note Cafe, NY on November 11, 1960.


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  • Donald Byrd - trumpet
  • Pepper Adams - baritone saxophone except track 6
  • Duke Pearson - piano
  • Laymon Jackson - bass
  • Lex Humphries - drums


  1. ^Donald Byrd discography accessed August 31, 2010
  2. ^ abJurek, T. Allmusic Review accessed January 4, 2013
  3. ^ abCook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1992). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, LP & Cassette (1st ed.). Penguin. p. 171. ISBN978-0-14-015364-4.

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Wednesday, May 13 The Big Note Cafe bid WCWPa fond farewell for the foreseeable future and has trimmed its sails for new adventures. Not being quick to make too many claims for the future before the fruit of it is at hand, I will continue to post a (more or less) weekly playlist-turned-pick-list through my Spotify account and (somewhat more regularly) at the Facebook page to continue to bring you an eclectic mash-up of modern jazz, Chicago blues, world music, the classical avant-guarde, made SPICEY with dollops of R&B of all sizes, shapes and flavors and doses of the neglected and otherwise classic gems of rock n' roll.
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