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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records, LLC

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1961 | Capitol Records, LLC

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Blue Note Records

Perhaps the best known and most loved of Art Blakey's works, The Big Beat is a testament to the creative progress of one of the best jazz drummers of all time. Now over 40 years old, The Big Beat is as thunderous as ever. Here, Blakey combines his rhythm with tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter's brilliant composing to make what could only be termed a "structurally raw" album. Each track rips through bebop as quickly as Blakey ripped through drum heads. "Dat Dere" and "Lester Left Town" stand out as part of the true canons for hot jazz. Two alternate versions of "It's Only a Paper Moon" round out the album, both brimming with the fluid integrity of the song and the drive only Blakey could provide. As one of the few drummers to step out and lead, not just play backup, Blakey created a true jazz treasure in The Big Beat. ~ Christopher Fielder
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2012 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Free for All is a high point in drummer Art Blakey's enormous catalog. This edition of the Jazz Messengers had been together since 1961 with a lineup that would be hard to beat: Freddie Hubbard on trumpet (his last session with the Messengers), Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Cedar Walton on piano, and Reggie Workman on bass. Shorter's title track is one of the finest moments in the Jazz Messengers' history. In the eight minutes of "Free for All," an emotional apex is reached that skirts the edge of free bop without losing Blakey's rhythmic glue. Another Shorter composition, "Hammer Head," is a mid-tempo soul-blues groove, with Shorter, Hubbard, and Fuller taking exceptional solos while Blakey keeps the mid-tempo vigorously swinging. Hubbard's "The Core," dedicated to the Congress of Racial Equality, comes close to capturing the heat of the title cut, as it contains similar fiery interplay. The session's closer, Clare Fischer's "Pensativa" (brought to the Messengers songbook by Hubbard), would remain a favorite with Blakey for years. A passionate Jazz Messengers workout that proves essential. ~ Al Campbell
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Blue Note Records

The final recording by this edition of The Jazz Messengers (featuring trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Bobby Timmons, bassist Jymie Merritt and drummer/leader Art Blakey) finds the group consolidating their year-and-a-half of experience into yet another exciting document. Blakey's unaccompanied drum feature on "The Freedom Rider" is full of drama while the rest of the program (two compositions apiece by Morgan and Shorter) makes this last chapter for this particular band quite memorable. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1957 | EMI Music Japan Inc.

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Jazz - Released July 1, 1963 | Blue Note Records

Arguably the finest lineup of the Jazz Messengers (with the possible exception of the Lee Morgan edition), this incarnation of the band -- Blakey, saxophonist Wayne Shorter (here playing tenor), young trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, trombonist Curtis Fuller, pianist Cedar Walton, and bassist Jymie Merritt -- set the tone for the hard bop movement of the '60s. This release features six classic modern-jazz icons and four alternate takes. Starting with Shorter's "Backstage Sally," the band jump into a happy, staccato horn chart and the groove-style shuffle that was their signature sound. Shorter's tenor-led ballad "Contemplation" finds the brassmen solidly behind him as he unleashes a breathtaking solo, while the Fuller-penned "Bu's Delight" is a supersonic hard bopper featuring Blakey's cage-rattling drum breaks and a formidable Walton solo. Written and led by Shorter, "Reincarnation Blues" is another good swinger, with counterpoint and unison lines sprinkled in together. The stunner of the set is Walton's "Shaky Jake," a low, moaning melody with deep-blue harmony soaring over a groove shuffle. On "Moon River," a frisky bopper featuring substantial solos from Hubbard and Fuller and a joyous arrangement modified from the original blue waltz, the song's staggered phrases are introduced and interrupted by drum breaks. The second takes of "Moon River" and "Backstage Sally" are fairly close to the first takes, while the alternate versions of "Reincarnation Blues" and "Bu's Delight" run one to two minutes shorter than the originals. Overall, you won't find a better representation of what modern mainstream jazz sounds like. Blakey and his band are on it from start to finish. ~ Michael G. Nastos

Jazz - Released December 31, 1988 | Soul Note

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The 1988 edition of The Jazz Messengers, which drummer Art Blakey had been leading for 33 years, showed a great deal of promise. Comprised of trumpeter Philip Harper (soon to form The Harper Brothers), trombonist Robin Eubanks, the tenor of Javon Jackson, pianist Benny Green and bassist Peter Washington, this band (whose average age without counting Blakey was around 25) performs one original apiece by Green and Jackson along with five older songs on this enjoyable release. The music may not have contained too many surprises or been startlingly new, but the results are quite pleasing. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released February 2, 2018 | Legacy Recordings

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Blue Note Records

Lee Morgan once again became part of the Jazz Messengers after replacing Freddie Hubbard, who left after replacing Morgan originally. The band is rounded out by pianist Cedar Walton, a steaming Wayne Shorter on tenor, Curtis Fuller on trombone, and bassist Reggie Workman with Art Blakey on the skins, of course. Indestructible is a hard-blowing blues 'n' bop date with Shorter taking his own solos to the outside a bit, and with Blakey allowing some of Fuller's longer, suite-like modal compositional work into the mix as well ("The Egyptian" and "Sortie"). There are plenty of hard swinging grooves-- an off-Latin funk à la Morgan's "Calling Miss Kadija," Shorter's killer "Mr. Jin," and Walton's ballad-cum-post-bop sprint "When Love Is New" -- and the Blakey drive is in full effect, making this album comes closest in feel to the Moanin' sessions with Bobby Timmons. Here the balance of soul groove and innovative tough bop are about equal. Morgan lends great intensity to this date by being such a perfect foil for Shorter, and their trading of fours and eights in "Sortie" is one of the disc's many high points. Morgan's bluesed-out modal frame is already in evidence here as he was beginning to stretch beyond the parameters of the 12-bar frame and into music from other spaces and times. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Blue Note Records

Taken from the same sessions that resulted in A Night in Tunisia, this fine CD features the 1960 version of The Jazz Messengers starring trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter and pianist Bobby Timmons. The title cut is the most impressive performance, but this excellent program of high-quality hard bop also allows listeners to hear three obscure Wayne Shorter compositions and Lee Morgan's forgotten "Johnny's Blue." ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

Into the third year of utilizing late-'20s superstars trumpeter Lee Morgan and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter on the front line, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers were showing a progressive compositional stance, mostly due to the emerging creativity of Shorter's sharply off-minor ideas. Pianist Bobby Timmons, a peer of the front liners, is swimming somewhere in the middle of this stylistic lake, exhibiting soulful backstrokes, straight-ahead sprinting, and the angular chordal complexities or sudden changes any potpourri of modernities might offer. Faithful bassist Jymie Merritt, no young pup at the time (seven years Blakey's junior) is solid, unspectacular, and right where this band of stars needed him to be. Writing chores continue to be split evenly between the horn players, but Shorter's pieces are distinct with a difference. "Those Who Sit and Wait" is a classic hard bop line with opposing non-sequitur melody/harmony cross sections, while "Joelle" sports two piano chords from Timmons leading to unusual phrasings, but still in a hard bop stance. Morgan contributes the title track and an alternate take with its typical and reliable hard bop shuffle buoying quirky horn and piano exchanges, and the spectacular "Afrique" with a 6/8 modal, choppy clave Latin beat merging to easy swing from the heavy tenor of Shorter -- the best of three worlds. Timmons contributes "A Little Busy" which is not far removed from the soul-jazz he is known for, a fun and funky groove biscuit where the pianist is truly in his element. "Lost & Found," penned by Clifford Jordan, showcases the straight-ahead signature sound the Jazz Messengers mined for decades -- upbeat, happy and tight. Whether this was or was not the pinnacle for this great band is still up for debate, but it assuredly ranks with Blakey's personal best aside from the popular album Moanin' of the same time frame. ~ Michael G. Nastos
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1990 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Blue Note Records