Art Blakey


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This LP contains valuable performances by the early Jazz Messengers that sat unissued until decades later. Four selections feature the band when drummer Art Blakey and pianist Horace Silver were co-leaders; trumpeter Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley on tenor and bassist Doug Watkins were also in that quintet. Two numbers from June 1956 find Blakey as sole leader of The Messengers for the first time, heading an otherwise unrecorded unit with Byrd and multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan. This LP concludes with a humorous Gershwin medley from later in the year with altoist Jackie McLean and trumpeter Bill Hardman in prominent roles. Although not an essential set, Art Blakey fans will find this album to be a valuable gapfiller in the history of The Jazz Messengers.