Art Blakey

Orgy in Rhythm, Vols. 1-2

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Orgy in Rhythm, Vols. 1-2 was one of the first percussion-oriented jazz records, although it was preceded two weeks earlier by Art Blakey's obscure Columbia set Drum Suite. For the Blue Note date, released as two LPs, Blakey enlisted quite a lineup -- the leader, Art Taylor, Jo Jones, and Specs Wright on drums (with the latter two doubling on timpani); five percussionists; flutist Herbie Mann; pianist Ray Bryant; and bassist Wendell Marshall. Mann plays a variety of African wood flutes, except on the final number, a conventional blues featuring his regular flute. With percussionist Sabu leading the chanting and taking three vocals (Blakey himself sings a little on "Toffi"), the music is quite African-oriented and generally holds one's interest, preceding Max Roach's M'Boom by over 20 years. Mostly for specialized tastes, this is a set that drummers should consider essential.

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