1. The Dude

From the recording Homage 1

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The Dude

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Written by Donald Byrd.

Reggie Houston - tenor sax
Reinhardt Melz - drums
Derek Sims - trumpet
Andre St. James - acoustic upright bass
Tom McDermott - piano

"The Dude" is another song that made it onto this album largely due to the important role arts education plays in creating the healthy and vibrant society that we all enjoy. Donald Byrd who wrote the song was arguably the finest hard bop trumpeter (alongside Clifford Brown) of all time. But more than that, Donald Byrd was a devoted and life-long educator-- one of history's greatest player-educators like Jackie McLean, Alvin Thomas, Clyde Kerr Jr. & Sr., Joe Salisbury, Germaine Basile, Hurley Blanchard, and my own teachers Alvin Batiste and Kidd Jordan. These are all musicians who did more than merely teach music-- they gave (and in some cases still give) their students real world experience and the skills to succeed in the music business. Donald Byrd used the success of his best-selling album, Black Byrd, to organize and launch his students into the hit 1970's group The Blackbyrds. Germaine Basile is the quintessential jazz singer in New Orleans yet for years she has continued to teach music at Xavier Prep High School. My own teacher Alvin Batiste taught us the importance of business and was directly responsible for getting me a job working for The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival-- and not as a musician, but in a capacity that gave me so many tools that I still use in business today.