The Big Beat: Art Blakey and the jazz messengers

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The Big Beat: Art Blakey and the jazz messengers

This is indispensable jazz. How can a record sound so fresh after multiple listening sessions over four decades? I first "met" Art Blakey and this edition of his jazz messengers in 1978. Full credit to George Cook Jr. of Columbus, Ohio who introduced me to Jazz in Maseru Lesotho.


 With Art Blakey manning the drums, Lee Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Bobby Timmons on piano, and Jymie Merritt on bass, it was one of the very finest cohorts of the jazz messengers that held forth in that institution’s 45 years of existence. 


 Lee Morgan, aged 21, is in full flight on this record. I can’t get enough of listening to him dispensing large doses of his lyricism on Dat Dere, a Bobby Timmons composition, before giving way to 26-year-old Wayne Shorter, the definition of melody. The rhythm section anchors the proceedings with a rhythmic steadiness that unfailingly gets my head bobbing, my toes tapping and my eyes closed. All is well. Peace. 


Recorded: March 6, 1960

Released: 1960

Venue: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA

Label: Blue Note

Engineer: Rudy van Gelder


Please listen here.



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