Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Art Blakey !!!!! Jazz Messengers !!!!! (1961)

FrontCover1Arthur Blakey (October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. He was briefly known as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina after he converted to Islam for a short time in the late 1940s.

Blakey made a name for himself in the 1940s in the big bands of Fletcher Henderson and Billy Eckstine. He then worked with bebop musicians Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. In the mid-1950s, Horace Silver and Blakey formed the Jazz Messengers, a group that the drummer was associated with for the next 35 years. The group was formed as a collective of contemporaries, but over the years the band became known as an incubator for young talent, including Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley, Donald Byrd, Jackie McLean, Johnny Griffin, Curtis Fuller, Chuck Mangione, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Cedar Walton, Woody Shaw, Terence Blanchard, and Wynton Marsalis. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz calls the Jazz Messengers “the archetypal hard bop group of the late 50s”.

Art Blakey02

Blakey was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame (in 1981), the Grammy Hall of Fame (in 1998 and 2001), and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1991.

Jazz Messengers!!!!! is a 1961 jazz album released by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers for Impulse! Records. Expanding to a sextet for the first time, it was the group’s final recording with Bobby Timmons, who would be replaced by Cedar Walton.

In his Down Beat review of January 4, 1962, critic Ira Gitler commented: “This is a change of pace from most recent Messenger releases. There is only one original; the rest are standards that have not been overdone.” (wikipedia)


An absolutely wonderful 1961 set from Blakey and company, who demonstrate here how to be note-perfect without leeching away the emotion of a performance. Aside from Blakey’s divine drum work, the standouts include Jaymie Merritt’s trippy bass fingerwork and Wayne Shorter blowing his heart out on tenor sax. (by Steven McDonald)


Art Blakey (drums)
Curtis Fuller (trombone)
Jymie Merritt (bass)
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Wayne Shorter (saxophone)
Bobby Timmons (piano)

Wayne ShorterTracklist:
01. À la Mode (Fuller) 6.47
02. Invitation (Kaper/Webster) 7.28
03. Circus (Alter/Russell) 5.11
04. You Don’t Know What Love Is (de Paul/Raye) 6.59
05. I Hear A Rhapsody (Baker/Fragos/Gasparre) 6.32
06. Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You (Razaf/Redman) 4.57



More from Art Blakey:


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