Stepping into Tomorrow

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Beginning with a crack of thunder, like it was made to trail Gary Bartz's "Mother Nature" actually recorded at a slightly later date, Stepping into Tomorrow contains almost all of the Mizell trademarks within its title track's first 30 seconds: a soft and easy yet still funky electric-bass-and-drums foundation, silken rhythm guitar, organ and piano gently bouncing off one another, light synthesizer shading, and coed group vocals to ensure true liftoff. It's only one in a line of many magnetic '70s sessions led by Fonce and Larry Mizell, and it differs from their two previous Donald Byrd dates -- the polarizing and groundbreaking Black Byrd and the deceptively excellent ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Beginning with a crack of thunder, like it was made to trail Gary Bartz's "Mother Nature" actually recorded at a slightly later date, Stepping into Tomorrow contains almost all of the Mizell trademarks within its title track's first 30 seconds: a soft and easy yet still funky electric-bass-and-drums foundation, silken rhythm guitar, organ and piano gently bouncing off one another, light synthesizer shading, and coed group vocals to ensure true liftoff. It's only one in a line of many magnetic '70s sessions led by Fonce and Larry Mizell, and it differs from their two previous Donald Byrd dates -- the polarizing and groundbreaking Black Byrd and the deceptively excellent Street Lady -- by not featuring any of Roger Glenn's flute, and by focusing on heavily melodic and laid-back arrangements. Even the speedy "You Are the World," by some distance the most energetic song, seems more suited for relaxing in a hammock than shooting down a freeway. Many of the musicians present on the previous Byrd-Mizell meetings are here, including drummer Harvey Mason, bassist Chuck Rainey, keyboardist Jerry Peters, and guitarist David T. Walker. As ever, those who pined for the approach of Byrd's '60s dates would tune out a sublime set of material, but maybe some of those who sniffed at the straightforward nature of some of the rhythms and riffing were won over by the supreme layering of the many components the way in which "Think Twice" lurches forward, peels back, and gathers steam is nothing short of heavenly, not to mention some deeply evocative playing from Byrd himself.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/28/2000
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • UPC: 724352354528
  • Catalog Number: 23545
  • Sales rank: 25,509

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Donald Byrd Primary Artist, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Vocals, Soloist
Gary Bartz Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Chuck Rainey Bass, Electric Bass
David T. Walker Guitar
James Carter Human Whistle
Margie Evans Background Vocals
Harvey Mason Sr. Harmonica, Drums, Bata Drums
Fonce Mizell Clarinet, Trumpet, Background Vocals, Clavinet
Larry Mizell Synthesizer, Conductor, Background Vocals, ARP, fender rhodes
Freddie Perren Background Vocals
Jerry Peters Organ, Piano
John Rowin Guitar
Stephanie Spruill Percussion, Background Vocals
Mayuto Correa Conga
Roger Sainte Percussion
Kay Haith Background Vocals
Lorraine Kennar Background Vocals
Fred Perrin Background Vocals
Technical Credits
George "Wild Child" Butler Executive Producer
Donald Byrd Artist Consultant
Dr. George Butler Executive Producer
Michael Cuscuna Reissue Producer
Val Garay Engineer, Remixing
David Hassinger Engineer, Remixing
Harvey Mason Sr. Arranger
Fonce Mizell Arranger, Producer, Vocal Arrangements
Larry Mizell Arranger, Composer, Producer, Vocal Arrangements
Freddie Perren Vocal Arrangements
Sigidi Arranger
Patrick Roques Reissue Design
John Mills Engineer
John H.R. Mills Engineer
Fred Perrin Vocal Arrangements
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