Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

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So there have been 60 Britney Spears threads and no Art Blakey threads. The great hidden shame of ILX!

I'm listening to his Indestructible LP right now and decided he needs a thread, goddammit. His groups consistently kicked ass, especially those with Wayne Shorter and Lee Morgan.

This thread can work as a S/D, C/D discussion as well, though I can't imagine anyone saying "dud".

Gear! (can Jung shill it, Mu?) (Gear!), Saturday, 19 February 2005 08:04 (seventeen years ago) link

"jazz school"

damn he has so many albums you cant really go wrong with the 50's and 60's stuff. ive always like "The Freedom Rider" and the "Night at Birdland" series.

charleston charge (chaki), Saturday, 19 February 2005 08:15 (seventeen years ago) link

dearest current jazz label owners,

jazz musicians are badass. please follow Blue Note's example. Thank you.


Gear! (can Jung shill it, Mu?) (Gear!), Saturday, 19 February 2005 08:39 (seventeen years ago) link

pittsburgh reprazent!

mookieproof (mookieproof), Saturday, 19 February 2005 09:20 (seventeen years ago) link

Only Messingers LP I've got is A Night In Tunisia, again with that great Shorter/Morgan lineup, which I don't listen to terribly often. But I always forget how great it is, until I play it again, and then wonder why I've only got the one, and vow to buy more.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Saturday, 19 February 2005 11:06 (seventeen years ago) link


Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Saturday, 19 February 2005 11:07 (seventeen years ago) link

For some reason The Jazz Kissingers didn't excite me overly much when I first got into jazz, and in hindsight I can't figure out why, as they seem like they ought to be the perfect bop-intro for someone coming from rock. I did love that "Moanin'" song though.
Anyhoo, I'll say classic, but that's based on having heard something like six recordings; none newer than the 60s.
Incidentally, I bought "Free for all" the other day, and that might just be the hardest and most bopping hard bop album I've heard yet! Catchier than the finest of bacteria too. Shorter is really cool on it too, I can't remember really having heard him play quite like that anywhere else.

I hope someone will say a few words about those later JM lineups, as I'm really curious about them.

Øystein (Øystein), Saturday, 19 February 2005 12:16 (seventeen years ago) link

Drum Suite is great as is the self-titled one on Columbia.

Vic Funk, Saturday, 19 February 2005 12:24 (seventeen years ago) link

I just got Moanin' a few months ago, and I can't believe I never had this one. Bennie Golson's playing in particular really knocked me out on this record.

Almost immediately I wanted to pick up something else with him and I noticed that the Meet the Jazztet record is import only. WTF?

Apologies in advance if the html doesn't work...

Keith C (kcraw916), Saturday, 19 February 2005 15:10 (seventeen years ago) link

I just got the Leslie Gourse book on Blakey (Gourse passed away late last year, I think). Good stuff.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Saturday, 19 February 2005 15:28 (seventeen years ago) link

Is any of his late era Roulette stuff worth a damn? I have "Backgammon" and one with John Handey from the late'ish 70s, but haven't bothered to give either a spin yet.

jared, Saturday, 19 February 2005 16:58 (seventeen years ago) link

i love free for all. that is all; i am really inconsistent in my back catalogue jazz purchases - i love blakey's drumming, and i rationalize why i'm not buying another one of his albums and i'm busy buying the flavor of the week instead, which usually costs 3 dollars more... (, Saturday, 19 February 2005 17:06 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh man. Favorite records:

Moanin' -- everyone plays the title track, but cats forget about the DRUM THUNDER SUITE

Roots & Herbs

Mosaic -- OMG the title track is RIDICULOUS, it's just a blowout.

Night in Tunisia


Jordan (Jordan), Saturday, 19 February 2005 22:25 (seventeen years ago) link

My problem with Drum Thunder Suite is that it results in me always walking awya from the Moanin' album with that "BAP BAP BAP -BOOM BOOM BADOOM BADOOMA" marching band thing in my head.
It's great stuff, but not the greatest thing in the world to have running through your head all day.

Funny really, Messengers seems like the ultimate catchy hard bop band, a great first entry into the genre and what have you. In theory. It didn't end up working like that for me at all, but NOW those albums I have really kick my earlobes around.
Not that I've been into jazz for more than a few years, so I'm still pretty much in the beginner stages of my jazz-interests, but hey.

On an extra-musical note: I love all those pictures of Art Blakey where he's got his mouth open and love lip up over his teeth.

Øystein (Øystein), Saturday, 19 February 2005 22:38 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh dear.
I really did mean to type "lower"

Øystein (Øystein), Saturday, 19 February 2005 22:39 (seventeen years ago) link

two years pass...

More Art Blakey discussion!
Been enjoying "At The Jazz Corner of the World," a live record from late 50s with Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan on the front line. Excellent stuff -- goes from cool to hot at the drop of a hat. Mobley seems kind of like an underrated player. On this set, he sounds awesome. And Blakey obviously kills. He's a fun drummer -- you can definitely hear him "leading" the band from behind the kit.

tylerw, Monday, 16 July 2007 20:37 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Mobley seems kind of like an underrated player.

Underrated at the time, perhaps, but now his original LPs are big ticket collectors items.

But this is an Art Blakey thread.
It is the thread where I talk about how I have been listening to "Meet You @ Jazz Corner" (there are actually two sets of LPs on Blue Note with similar titles, and similar line-ups. There is "Meet You at Jazz Corner" Vol. 1 & 2 and also "At The Jazz Corner of the World" vols 1 & 2. In my experience they are all good.)

Also, "Moanin"
also, "Freedom Rider."

I got my mom the CD of "Night in Tunisia" and she seems to enjoy it.
That is all I have to say. Heaps of praise for him and his bands, as well as monsieur Rudy Van Gelder.

ian, Saturday, 2 August 2008 16:54 (fourteen years ago) link

Last Spring I listened to this like three times a day every day for two months. I never got tired of it.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Saturday, 2 August 2008 21:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Night in Tunisia and Big Beat are both good.

Not the biggest Blakey fan relative to other drummers but he was still great. Also don't have the hard bop jones much anymore, and when I do I prefer someone headier like Joe Henderson or Herbie Hancock.

Hurting 2, Sunday, 3 August 2008 04:38 (fourteen years ago) link

But what a great bunch of alumni he had! I've been really digging Bobby Timmons's trio records lately.

Hurting 2, Sunday, 3 August 2008 04:39 (fourteen years ago) link

two years pass...

listened to this one this morning
pretty classic -- guess it's the only jazz messengers record w/ donald byrd? great, long version of "nica's dream"

tylerw, Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:01 (eleven years ago) link

Bu = classic. For the alumni Hurting mentioned and all the great work they did with him. I think drummers don't always rank him at the very top, but I love him for keeping time on his hi-hat during his own solos and for using a press roll to tell somebody else to end theirs.

What You Know Is POLLS!: The Orson Welles Poll (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:25 (eleven years ago) link

his drumming just sounds so buoyant -- seems like if you were playing with him you had to just go with the flow/energy of the drums.

tylerw, Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:27 (eleven years ago) link

That sounds about right.

Will recommend once again the excellent two volume series Drummin' Men, by Burt Korall.

What You Know Is POLLS!: The Orson Welles Poll (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:35 (eleven years ago) link

hmm, thanks for the rec! i'll check that out. is there a full bio of blakey?

tylerw, Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:52 (eleven years ago) link

Don't know about a full bio, but the twenty pages about him in Drummin' Men are cherce.

What You Know Is POLLS!: The Orson Welles Poll (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 February 2011 20:44 (eleven years ago) link

two years pass...

Digging into Blakey/Jazz Messengers lately via the Real Gone box. Fascinating and enthralling at nearly every turn. Had such a tremendous sound on the kit, and such a unique sense of orchestration in his playing.

Pope Frank is the messenger of your doom (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 25 April 2013 17:36 (nine years ago) link

three months pass...

R.I.P. Cedar Walton

Shart Week (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 19 August 2013 17:24 (eight years ago) link

three months pass...

R.I.P. Horace Silver

Not a good year for Jazz Messengers pianists.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 17 December 2013 12:45 (eight years ago) link

So the rumors are false, but I hadn't listened to him in a while, and it's reminding me that the thing I always liked the most about him was that heavy left hand.

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 18 December 2013 02:56 (eight years ago) link

two years pass...

I don't think I have had a proper listen to Mosaic before, gosh it is a fucking immense album.

calzino, Sunday, 9 October 2016 15:11 (five years ago) link

I used to really like New World which was a pretty random find and I think comes from a '68 live set with Julian Priester in the Messengers.
Had turned up in my local records hop when I was just discovering various bits of jazz. & I knew the name Art Bl;akey but not much of his material. I think he's still somebody I don't know brilliantly.
But he Kenny Clarke and Max Roach are all good.

Stevolende, Sunday, 9 October 2016 15:22 (five years ago) link

the closing track was inspired by the Cuban Missile Crisis and contains the third absolute badass Blakey drum solo of the album.

calzino, Sunday, 9 October 2016 15:50 (five years ago) link

in fact I think it was Arabia that has the mentioned drum solo, no matter it is all good.

calzino, Sunday, 9 October 2016 15:58 (five years ago) link

i've kinda barely heard blakey stuff after Shorter left the band -- i should probably dig into it a but more.

tylerw, Sunday, 9 October 2016 18:07 (five years ago) link

Same. I know John Gilmore (!) was in the lineup at one point, but dunno if he recorded with them in addition to touring with them.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 9 October 2016 19:47 (five years ago) link

Mosaic is a favorite, the title track is insane. Thanks for the reminder, now I'll be listening to '60s Blakey records all week.

sam jax sax jam (Jordan), Monday, 10 October 2016 14:11 (five years ago) link

Wow, Jymie Merritt is still around at 90. So is Curtis Fuller (and Wayne Shorter, of course).

sam jax sax jam (Jordan), Monday, 10 October 2016 15:52 (five years ago) link

Jymie's son is bassist Mike Merritt, who's been in Conan O'Brien's house band since '93.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 10 October 2016 16:06 (five years ago) link

Free for All is my go to Jazz Messengers Blue Note alb - a late intense one w/ Freddie Hubbard and Wayner Shorter.

Foster Twelvetrees (Ward Fowler), Monday, 10 October 2016 18:41 (five years ago) link

the core, the heart music

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Monday, 10 October 2016 20:33 (five years ago) link

I'm listening to Afrique off The Witch Doctor at the moment <3

calzino, Monday, 10 October 2016 22:31 (five years ago) link

nine months pass...

that lee morgan doc is streaming on netflix now -- looking forward to checking it out.

tylerw, Thursday, 27 July 2017 18:11 (five years ago) link

It's also on Amazon Video, for people (like me) who don't have Netflix.

grawlix (unperson), Thursday, 27 July 2017 18:13 (five years ago) link

five years pass...

That Blue Note '5 Essential Records' set has been great so far. I have not yet checked out the drum ensemble record but the other four have been really good listens, especially 'Free for All' which is another ace Blue Note album.

That title track "Free for All" is really intense and to me sounds like Wayne Shorter kinda digging into similar ideas that Coltrane had been doing a short time before. It's really aggressive.

Curtis Fuller's trombone sound is so warm. Having that low end with the trumpet and the tenor sax makes such a big sound. It sounds really good on Coltrane's Blue Train too. I love how on many of these tunes during the solos the other two horns do those little chord drop ins.

You really can tell this was not just a pick up for a session band, they sound tight as hell.

Anyway...some of the best music new to me that I have heard in a while.

I bet that drum solo "The Freedom Rider" has been cut up and single shot sampled a boodle over the years.

earlnash, Saturday, 6 August 2022 02:47 (one week ago) link

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