Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers

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A good single-CD sampler of drummer Art Blakey's Blue Note years is an impossibility, for he recorded dozens of gems for the label. There is nothing wrong with the six numbers on this set (a 1954 version of "Wee Dot" with Clifford Brown, the classics "Moanin'," "Along Came Betty" and "Up Jumped Spring," Freddie Hubbard's lesser-known "Down Under," and the only post-1962 number, "Jodi") but it barely hints at the Art Blakey story. Only three versions of the Jazz Messengers are represented (along with the Brownie cut, which is out of place), making the release a bit frivolous.

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