Art Blakey – Holiday For Skins Vol. 1 (1958)

FrontCover1.jpgArthur Blakey (October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. He was briefly known as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina after he briefly converted to Islam 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, and Wynton Marsalis. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz calls the Jazz Messengers “the archetypal hard bop group of the late 50s”.

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

Holiday for Skins is a 1959 album by jazz drummer Art Blakey. Recorded for the Blue Note label in November 1958, the album was released in two volumes before being reissued together in a CD set in 2006. (by wikipedia)

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This is Art Blakey’s most rare project dedicated to percussion and probabaly the best one. Art Blakey is here leading a great jazz and percussionist large band. Art Taylor and Philly Joe Jones on drums, Donald Byrd on trumpet, Ray Brant on the piano, on percussions not less than Ray Barreto, Sabu Martinez, Victor Gonzales, Julio Martinez, Chonguito Vicenten, Fred Pagani Jr and additionally a great choir. The result is a rich confrontation of african and latin rythms with contemporary jazz of these late fifties. “The Feats”, “Agnaho” & “Lamento Africano” represent the peak of this recording session, counterpoints, breathtaking variations in rythm and tempo and a real liberty of expression for each soloist. Classic jazz is not absent and is illustrated here by tracks such as “Otinde”, or the Ray Bryant compositions : “Swinging Kilts” and “Reflection”. The whole record is a vibrant celebration of pure rythm, let us no forget that Art Blakey has travelled extensively until Africa and was deeply aware what Jazz was owing to african and latin patterns. The sound of the record is unbelievable for this date of 1958. (rushhour.nl)

Donald Byrd

This 1958 release, recorded the same year as Art Blakey’s canonical album Moanin’, bears little resemblance to that more famous release. While the personnel on Holiday for Skins features some of the finest players of the hard bop era (including drummer Philly Joe Jones and trumpeter Donald Byrd), the music on the album draws its inspiration directly from African and Latin folk forms.

This is especially evident on tracks like “The Feast” and “Aghano,” which feature circular drum patterns and chanting from the bandmembers. Tunes like “Mirage,” however, blend these exotic sounds with a more straightforward bop vocabulary, resulting in the set’s most engaging moments. As one of the more adventurous dates from Blue Note’s ’50s period, Holiday for Skins is an intriguing listen. (by Rovi Staff)

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Personnel:
Art Blakey (drums, chanting)
Ray Bryant (piano)
Philly Joe Jones (drums, chanting, vocals)
Wendell Marshall (bass)
Art Taylor (drums)
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Donald Byrd (trumpet on 01. + 04.)
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percussion:
Ray Barretto – Victor Gonzales  Julio Martinez – Sabu Martinez – Chonguito Vincente -Fred Pagani – Andy Delannoy
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chanting
Austin Cromer – Hal Rasheed –

Ray Bryant

Tracklist:
01. The Feast 8.52
02. Aghano 6.03
03. Lamento Africano 8.21
04. Mirage 10.26

All compositions by Art Blakey

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Art Blakey02Art Blakey (October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990)

Art Bakley and The Jazz Messengers – Moanin’ (1958)

ArtBlakeyFrontCover1Moanin’ is a jazz album by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers recorded in 1958.

This was Blakey’s first album for Blue Note in several years, after a period of recording for a miscellany of labels, and marked both a homecoming and a fresh start. Originally the LP was self-titled, but the instant popularity of the bluesy opening track “Moanin'” (by pianist Bobby Timmons) led to its becoming known by that title.
Music

The rest of the originals are by saxophonist Benny Golson (who was not with the Jazz Messengers for long; this being the only American album on which he is featured). “Are You Real?” is a propulsive thirty-two-bar piece with a four-bar tag, featuring two-part writing for Golson and trumpeter Lee Morgan. “Along Came Betty” is a more lyrical, long-lined piece, almost serving as the album’s ballad. “The Drum Thunder Suite” is a feature for Blakey, in three movements: “Drum Thunder”; “Cry a Blue Tear”; and “Harlem’s Disciples”. “Blues March” calls on the feeling of the New Orleans marching bands, and the album finishes on its only standard, an unusually brisk reading of “Come Rain or Come Shine”. Of the originals on the album, all but the “Drum Thunder Suite” became staples of the Messengers book, even after Timmons and Golson were gone. Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in his meticulous Hackensack studios, this recording reflects the hallmark precision associated with that engineer, (on the reissue there is a brief conversation between Lee Morgan and Rudy Van Gelder going over Morgan’s solo.)

BlakeyThe album stands as one of the archetypal hard bop albums of the era, for the intensity of Blakey’s drumming and the work of Morgan, Golson and Timmons, and for its combination of old-fashioned gospel and blues influences with a sophisticated modern jazz sensibility.

A vocalese version of “Moanin'” was later written by Jon Hendricks, and recorded by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, as well as jazz vocalists Bill Henderson and Karrin Allyson. (by wikipedia)

Moanin’ includes some of the greatest music Blakey produced in the studio with arguably his very best band. There are three tracks that are immortal and will always stand the test Blakey2of time. The title selection is a pure tuneful melody stewed in a bluesy shuffle penned by pianist Bobby Timmons, while tenor saxophonist Benny Golson’s classy, slowed “Along Came Betty” and the static, militaristic “Blues March” will always have a home in the repertoire of every student or professional jazz band. “Are You Real?” has the most subtle of melody lines, and “Drum Thunder Suite” has Blakey’s quick blasting tom-tom-based rudiments reigning on high as the horns sigh, leading to hard bop. “Come Rain or Come Shine” is the piece that commands the most attention, a highly modified, lilting arrangement where the accompanying staggered, staccato rhythms contrast the light-hearted refrains. Certainly a complete and wholly satisfying album, Moanin’ ranks with the very best of Blakey and what modern jazz offered in the late ’50s and beyond. (by Michael G. Nastos)

Blakey3Personnel:
Art Blakey (drums)
Benny Golson (saxophone)
Jymie Merritt (bass)
Lee Morgan (trumpet)
Bobby Timmons (piano)

BackCoverTracklist:
01. Moanin’ (Timmons) 9.35
02. Are You Real (Golson) 4.50
03. Along Came Betty (Golson) 6.12
04. The Drum Thunder Suite (Golson) 7.33
05. Blues March (Golson) 6.17
06. Come Rain Or Come Shine (Arlen/Mercer) 5.49
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07. So Tired (from “A Night In Tunisia, 1960) (Timmons) 6.33
08. Yama (from “A Night In Tunisia, 1960) (Morgan) 6.21

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VA – Très Chic – French Cool From Paris To The Côte d’Azur (2013)

FrontCover1Retro French music is very much in vogue on this side of the Channel and Union Square have sought to capitalise on this by releasing this most entertaining overview of 1950s and 1960s French music. While any two CD compilation can only ever hope to scratch the surface and more in-depth anthologies are required to be fully comprehensive, for the neophyte this actually serves it’s purpose well of introducing the listener to a whole raft of musicians. The music is neatly divided up between male crooners, Left bank existentialist singers, women singers and jazzier influences that includes both instrumentalists from famous French new wave film soundtracks, or French jazzers. Among the crooners, Yves Montand deserves to be heard by an anglophone audience and his interpretations of the music of Prévert are near definitive. Here he delivers the smooth sounding ‘C’est si bon’. Talking of smooth operators, Sacha Distel takes some beating and it may come as a surprise to non-French readers to learn that he was a very accomplished jazz guitarist before becoming a singer. Arguably his most famous song is showcased here, ‘Scoubidoo’. Henri Salvador gained international recognition late in his career, but this early jazz scat, ‘C’est le be bop’, is an indication of what was to follow. While Charles Aznavour is best known in the UK for ‘She’, his late 1950s and early 1960s sides were full of emotion and jazzy orchestrations and ‘Je me voyais, déjà’ is typical of his output from the era. For more left-field sounds, this compilation deserves great credit for including some of the following singers. Bobby Lapointe came to prominence as a subversive singer who made a brief appearance in François Truffaut’s ‘Shoot the pianist’ film. Here ‘Framboise’ is boisterous, fast-paced and a delight from start to finish.

Inlet01APreceding the 1960s starlettes by a decade, Juliette Gréco possesses a deep, throaty voice that was ideally suited to interpreting Gainsbourg and Prévert and ‘Si tu t’imagines’ is just one of her vast repertoire and a fine example at that. Léo Ferré is the current French president’s favourite singer and the melodic ‘A Saint Germain des Prés’ is an early illustration of Ferré’s beautiful voice. He would later become famous for his lengthy literary raps and he was very much an anti-establishment figure. Barbara may be less known outside France, but has few equals in France as a singer-songwriter and ‘Dis quand reviendras-tu?’ is a fine example of her pared down sound. Jacques Brel needs little introduction, but for those as yet unaware ‘La valse à mille temps’ shifts gear as only Brel knows how and he is an all-time great of the French language. Last, but by no means least, Serge Gainsbourg is nothing less than a national treasure, but interestingly for those who are familiar with his later psychedelic period, here the focus is on his jazz period. Both ‘Intoxicated man’ and ‘Requiem pour un twister’ are superior examples of his early period that stand the test of time. A trio of French women singers includes the obligatory Françoise Hardy and her seminal ‘Tous les garcons et les filles’, another Truffaut sound track song by Jeanne Moreau, ‘Le Tourbillon’, featured in the delightful ‘Jules et Jim’ film and a melancholic sounding Brigitte Bardot on ‘Sidonie’.

Inlet02AJazz musicians featured include Miles Davis and his stunning contribution to Louis Malle’s ‘Lift to the Scaffold’ film and pianist Martial Solal and the terrific soundtrack to Jean-Luc Godard’s seminal ‘A bout de souffle’/’Breathless’. Noteworthy are two other pieces, the Latin-jazz influenced ‘No hay problema’ by Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers and a vocal number by Claude Nougaro. This French singer deserves a compilation of his own for an English-speaking audience, such is the richness of his 1960s jazz and 1970s Brazilian flavoured songs. A final mention should be made for France’s answer to Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, les Double Six who deliver a stunning version of one of Art Blakey’s staple tunes ‘Moanin’. All in all a musical experience that is truly a ‘joie de vivre’! (by Tim Stenhouse)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Françoise Hardy: Le temps de l’amour (Dutronc/Salvet/Morisse) 2.23
02. Serge Gainsbourg: Requiem pour un twisteur (Gainsbourg) 2.37
03. Jeanne Moreau: Le tourbillon (Bassiak/Delerue) 2.03
04. Les Double Six: Rat Race (Jones/Perrin) 2.35
05. Claude Nougaro: Le cinéma (Legrand/Nougaro) 2.56
06. Sacha Distel: Brigitte (Brousolle/Distel) 2.17
07. Magali Noël: Alhambra-Rock (Goraguer/Vian) 2.35
08. Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: No hay problema (Marray) 4.33
09. Charles Aznavour: Je m’voyais déjà (Aznavour) 3.22
10. Claude Nougaro: Les Don Juan (Legrand/Nougaro) 3.17
11. Léo Ferré: À Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Ferré) 3.01
12. Michel Legrand: Blues chez le bougnat (Legrand) 2.08
13. Charles Trenet: Que reste-t-il de nos amours? (Trenet/Chauliac) 3.10
14. Henri Salvador: C’est le be bop (Vian/Dieval) 2.05
15. Sacha Distel: Marina (Reardon/Distel) 4.11
16. Mouloudji: Comme un p’tit coquelicot (Grasso/Valery) 3.43
17. Anna Karina: Chanson d’Angela (Legrand/Godard) 2.23
18. Boby Lapointe: Framboise (Lapointe) 2.39
19. Catherine Sauvage: Black Trombone (Gainsbourg) 2.29
20. Corinne Marchand: La joueuse (Varda/Legrand) 1.52

CD 2:
01. Claude Nougaro: Le jazz et la java (Datin/Nougaro) 2.24
02. Françoise Hardy: Tous les garçons et les filles (Hardy/Samyn) 3.05
03. Serge Gainsbourg: Intoxicated Man (Gainsbourg) 2.35
04. Line Renaud: Sexe (Gaste) 3.32
05. Jacqueline Dano: Chanson de Lola (Varda/Legrand) 2.12
06. Jacques Brel: La valse à mille temps (Brel) 3.48
07. Martial Solal: New York Herald Tribune (Solal) 1.26
08. Les Double Six: Moanin’ (Timmons) 3.09
09. Magali Noël: Strip-Rock (Goraguer/Vian) 2.16
10. Boris Vian: Je suis snob (Walter/Vian) 2.49
11. Brigitte Bardot: Sidonie (Cros/Spanos/Riviere) 2.52
12. Barbara: Dis quand reviendras tu? (Barbara) 2.52
13. Juliette Gréco: Si tu t’imagines (Queneau) 2.42
14. Yves Montand: C’est si bon (Homez/Betti) 2.33
15. Henry Cording: Vas t’faire cuire un oeuf man (Sinclair/Mike) 2.51
16. Sacha Distel: Scoubidou (Teze/Distel) 3.00
17. Gilbert Becaud: Me-que-me-que (Becaus/Aznavour) 2.27
18. The Miles Davis Ensemble: Générique (nuit sur Les Champs-Élysées) (Davis) 2.53
19. Brigitte Fontaine & Areski: Il pleut sur la gare (Areski/Faintaine) 1.47
20. Valérie Lagrange: Si ma chanson pouvait (Lagrange) 5.25

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Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – Caravan (1962)

ArtBlakeyCaravanFCA killer set from Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers — not a Blue Note album, but probably one of their best from the time that isn’t!
The group at this point are a sextet — a lineup that changed the way that Blakey grooved, with Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor, Curtis Fuller on trombone, and Cedar Walton on piano.
Tracks are long and open, with a bouncing lyrical groove that’s more soaring than some of the heavy-hitting earlier albums, but no less pleasing — and possibly even a bit more soulful!
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Personnel:
Art Blakey: (drums)
Curtis Fuller: (trombone)
Freddie Hubbard: (trumpet)
Wayne Shorter: (tenor saxophone)
Cedar Walton: (piano)
Reggie Workman: (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Caravan (Ellington/Mills) 9.46
02. Sweet ‘N’ Sour (take 4) (Shorter) 5.30
03. Sweet ‘N’ Sour (Shorter) 5.30
04. (In The) Wee Small Hours (Of the Morning) (Hilliard/Mann) 4.05
05 This Is For Albert (Shorter) 8.20
06. Skylark (Carmichael/Mercer) 4.50
07. Thermo (take 2) (Hubbard) 7.28
08. Thermo (Hubbard) 6.45

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