The two-LP Big Beat features four different drummer-led units. Art Blakey's 1962-1964 Jazz Messengers (with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, trombonist Curtis Fuller, and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter) perform "Caravan," "The High Priest," and a brief "The Theme." Max Roach's 1958 Quintet (with trumpeter Booker Little and George Coleman on tenor) play three selections, including Roach's drum solo "Conversation." Elvin Jones meets up with his two brothers (cornetist Thad and pianist Hank) on some sextet sides, and Philly Joe Jones heads two all-star groups that include such top musicians as trumpeters Lee Morgan and Blue Mitchell, and flutist Herbie Mann.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow