Blair – 1978 – Nightlife
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Late 70s Disco / Jazz / Funk / Soul Fusion, whatever you want to call it, from original Blackbyrds guitarist Barney “Blair” Perry. Perry was only with the group for their first two albums penning their hit “Walking in Rhythm”. By 1978, he released this lone solo gem that would go unappreciated until the 90s rare groove scene embraced it.
The title cut is midtempo disco funk goodness and the album has yet to get the reissue treatment, so expect some sticker shock if you are looking for an original copy.
A1 Nightlife 7:25
A2 Hey Sexy Mama 5:00
A3 Who Is Blair 6:41
B1 You Are My Whole Life Baby 7:25
B2 Virgo Princess 7:00
B3 We Need Love 7:25
B4 They Blow My Mind 4:44
Barney Blair Perry began his professional career In his hometown Buffalo, New York, U.S.A. as a guitarist.He seized opportunities to study and perform with some of the biggest names in music during that era.Greats such as George Benson, Thornel Schwartz, Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Richard Groove Holmes, Lonnie Smith, saxophonist Joe Thomas and singer lrene Reid.He also performed in many local clubs with his own band and with other fellow musicians.
Blair garnered a great deal of experience at an early age. From there he enrolled in the Howard University School of Music as a music composition major.While a student at Howard, and studying under the late Mark Fax, Barney met and toured with the legendary trumpeter Donald Byrd.Together they performed across the country with greats such as Joe Chambers, Ray Armondo, Harold Vick, Frank Foster, Stanley Cowell, Billy Harper and many many others.
In addition he also played several concert dates with saxophonist Jackie Mclean.Blair also performed and recorded with flautist Bobbi Humphrey.When the Blackbyrds were formed, Blair, along with other members of the band, had several of his songs recorded by the group on Fantasy Records.Amongst his biggest tunes was the song ‘Walking In Rhythm’ in which he gained recognition throughout the music industry.
In 1978, he was nominated for a Grammy Award in recognition of being one of the best R & B songwriters of the period.’Walking In Rhythm’ was one of the most popular songs of 1974. Blair also received, from Broadcast Music Inc., another Pop Music Award.
In 1978, came a solo album entitled ‘Night Life’. The title track became an enormous club hit, although the album slipped by relatively un-noticed.The album featured several early co-compositions by Angela Winbush.