Art Blakey

The Complete Art Blakey on Emarcy

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The 2006 single-disc collection The Complete Art Blakey on Emarcy features all of the tracks the jazz drummer recorded for his 1954 Emarcy album Blakey. Originally, the 10" LP version of Blakey included eight songs featuring trumpeter Joe Gordon, pianist Walter Bishop, Jr., saxophonist Gigi Gryce, and bassist Bernie Griggs. Here, we get those cuts plus four other tracks recorded around the same time with pianist Horace Silver, saxophonist Henry Durant, and bassist Percy Heath. Interestingly, the sessions with Silver (tracks one through four on this release) were recorded roughly a month after his and Blakey's iconic A Night at Birdland album and led in part to the creation of the duo's legendary Jazz Messengers ensemble. Confusingly, the 1999 reissue of Blakey also added cuts off 1955's Introducing Joe Gordon (not included here), which Blakey also played on. The tracks showcased on The Complete Art Blakey on Emarcy are swinging sessions well worth checking out, especially for anyone interested in Blakey's pre-Jazz Messengers era.

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