Art Blakey

Holiday for Skins

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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.

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