Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers — The Big Beat

1960’s The Big Beat was a popular Jazz Messengers record (and that cover–yes!!–what an iconic photograph), and I intended to write that it was the start of my favorite era for this group, but I realized that I like what preceded it just as much.  The Birdland (1954) and Cafe Bohemia recordings, not to mention Moanin‘.  Then there are several titles released after this one that I really enjoy–Like Someone In Love and Mosaic, leading up to 1964’s fiery and aggressive Free For All.  That’s not even all of them, I’m essentially a big fan of the whole catalog.  Those records cover a lot of musical ground over 10 years and I don’t think that I could choose a real favorite.  The high level of that output speaks a lot to Blakey’s artistry and the artistry of the immense talents that came up through his band.

Blakey is joined on this record by Lee Morgan (tp), Wayne Shorter (ts), Bobby Timmons (p), and Jymie Merritt (bs).  I included Wayne Shorter’s composition “Sakeena’s Vision” below.  Two versions of it actually–one from an early mono pressing and another from the recent Music Matters stereo 45rpm reissue.

(Details: Blue Note 4029 mono/47 W.63rd NYC/deepgroove one side/RVG/”p”)

Art Blakey — Sakeena’s Vision (early mono pressing)

Art Blakey — Sakeena’s Vision (Music Matters 45rpm stereo)

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2 Responses to Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers — The Big Beat

  1. dottorjazz says:

    I’ve seen Buhaina twice, the first one in 1968, a concert dedicated to drummers: Art, Max, Elvin and Sunny Murray. What I liked best was Max, playing alone. Elvin, in trio, was drunk, barely able to walk and keep his sticks in hand. Sunny made a very bad impression on me, he really could’t keep up with the others. Art had his sextet: thundering.
    The second and last time I saw him in Den Haag, July 80, and he had a young Wynton Marsalis on trumpet: really a sensation then. After I never liked Wynton anymore and have none of his records.

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