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Jazz - Released January 1, 1954 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Original Jazz Classics

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Pop - Released February 16, 1999 | Rhino Atlantic

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1954 | Capitol Records, LLC

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Bebop - Released August 16, 2005 | Columbia - Legacy

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Vocal Jazz - Released November 28, 2018 | Reborn recordings

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2012 | Modern Art of Music

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1964 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

Art Blakey was always fond of drum ensembles, and was allowed an opportunity to present this aspect of his full-force concept on occasion. With supplemental fellow drum masters Philly Joe Jones and Roy Haynes, a sole front line melodist in trumpeter Lee Morgan, bassist Jymie Merritt, pianist Bobby Timmons, and fourth percussionist Ray Barretto on congas, this group features more than drum solo, duo, and trio segments. The tune structure is emphasized instead of simple workouts, and when you listen closely to the stereo separation of this disc, you can hear the colorful differences between the louder Blakey, the subtle but hard swinging Jones, and the indefatigable precision of Haynes. Though Morgan's role in this music is somewhat marginalized, he makes the most of his chances, following Merritt in a basic Miles Davis tonality for the shuffling "Blakey's Blues." Both Charlie Parker's famous "Moose the Mooche" and Blakey's adaptation "Let's Take 16 Bars" have similar melody lines, the former a 15-minute ABAB form taking turns with the drummers, the latter a looser and flowing blues following the drummers healthily traded-off solos at the outset. A somewhat ethnic modal piano lead melody from Timmons is atypical for this session on "Lee's Tune," with Morgan countering on an individualistic, hip, hard bop, and thoroughly modern line. But this is, after all, a drummer's showcase, as Blakey, Jones, Haynes, and Barretto whip up some controlled mezzo forte fury on an urgent, albeit a bit rushed "Lover," while "Drums in the Rain" separates the four percussionists into separate but equal villages of ritual, vocal type sounds, with Barretto signaling the initial conversation as the other three riff and play off each other. The final two tracks are strictly duets between bassist Paul Chambers and Blakey not on the original session. The stroked and sleek blues tones of Chambers during "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" inspires the fine brush work of a subdued Blakey, while the singing, gruff arco lead on "What Is This Thing Called Love?" has the bassist assimilating a Slam Stewart façade, with Blakey again toned down of bombast, retrained, and tasteful. A session that over the years has been unfairly maligned as monochromatic and a fork in the road from Jazz Messengers projects, the fun quotient and ebullient feeling of these players should be taken more fully into account, as this is much more than merely a marginal date or afterthought. ~ Michael G. Nastos
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Blue Note Records

This 1958 release, recorded the same year as Art Blakey's canonical album Moanin', bears little resemblance to that more famous release. While the personnel on Holiday for Skins features some of the finest players of the hard bop era (including drummer Philly Joe Jones and trumpeter Donald Byrd), the music on the album draws its inspiration directly from African and Latin folk forms. This is especially evident on tracks like "The Feast" and "Aghano," which feature circular drum patterns and chanting from the bandmembers. Tunes like "Mirage," however, blend these exotic sounds with a more straightforward bop vocabulary, resulting in the set's most engaging moments. As one of the more adventurous dates from Blue Note's '50s period, Holiday for Skins is an intriguing listen. ~ Rovi Staff

Jazz - Released December 31, 1990 | Soul Note

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Even after heading the Jazz Messengers for over three decades, drummer Art Blakey kept true to his original vision, using the band as a forum for talented young players to swing hard and grow rapidly. Certainly his crop of players in 1988 (which included trumpeter Philip Harper, trombonist Robin Eubanks, tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson and pianist Benny Green) could compete favorably with many of his earlier bands. This Soul Note release, which includes a nine-minute drum solo by the leader, mostly sticks to inventive reworkings of standards along with a song apiece from Eubanks and Harper. Excellent music. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Verve Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Concord Records, Inc.

The second of two CDs that reissue the music from three Art Blakey LPs plus additional material (reshuffling the order to make it more logical), this set features trumpeter Woody Shaw, Carter Jefferson on tenor and soprano, Cedar Walton on keyboards, bassist Mickey Bass, Tony Waters on congas and the drummer/leader plus three guests: guitarist Michael Howell, trombonist Steve Turre and (on "Moanin"' and "Along Came Betty"), singer Jon Hendricks. Shaw is in excellent form and Blakey propels and inspires his sidemen as usual. In addition to the two vocals, the nine instrumentals (which had originally been divided between the LPs Buhaina and Athenagin) are consistently swinging and well worth hearing. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1982 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1954 | Capitol Records, LLC

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1954 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released May 5, 1997 | Columbia - Legacy