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Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers-Live In France 1959 (Jazz Icons DVD)Mosaic Singles
Playable In All Regions
Regularly $19.98; On Sale for $9.98
DVD - $9.98
In the fall of 1959, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers were in a fascinating transition. The all-new 1958 edition of the band with Benny Golson, Lee Morgan, Bobby Timmons and Jymie Merritt had scored big with the album Moanin' which featured tunes by Golson and Timmons that became instant classics. But Golson left at the beginning of 1959 to form The Jazztet (Hank Mobley took his place) and Bobby Timmons left in the fall to join Cannonball Adderley's quintet.
Mobley was replaced that fall by newcomer Wayne Shorter whose sound and conception would forever change the sonic landscape of the Jazz Messengers. Walter Davis, Jr. filled in for Timmons's several months with Adderley. Walter was a two-fisted pianist out of the Bud Powell school and he had as much drive on his instrument as Blakey had on his drums.
Art Blakey took the band to Europe before there was time to develop a new band book, so here we get to hear Shorter's unique spin on Golson's Along Came Betty and Blues March and the former Mobley feature Close Your Eyes before they disappeared from the Messengers' repertoire. We also get a glimpse of where things are headed with Lee Morgan's What Know (aka Goldie) and an early Shorter composition that Blakey never officially recorded Nelly Bly (aka Mama G). Shorter and Morgan are absolutely on fire throughout this 80-minute concert.
As with any Jazz Messenger performance, this is inspired jazz with a volcanic swing. Art Blakey's soaring dynamics and irresistible rhythms are evident on any of his records, but the visual element reveals just how powerfully he controlled the shape of the music and drove each soloist to new heights. Additionally this show captures the group's music at an interesting juncture of the recent past and the foreseeable future.
"The first edition of the Jazz Messengers that I saw in person was the sextet with Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard and Curtis Fuller. He shaped and colored each tune from the drum stool and when he hit fifth gear in the final chorus of each solo, it was as organically exciting as music can be. I saw dozens of incarnations of the Messengers over the next 26 years. And Art's power, dynamics and thunderous swing were as exciting in 1989 as they were in 1963. It used to love to stand on stage when Art Blakey; the feeling under my feet was close to what I would imagine the experience of sailing through an ice tunnel in a 120-miles-per-hour bobsled".
- Michael Cuscuna
Jazz Icons 6 DVD Box Set: $99.98
Available As Single DVDs:
Thelonious Monk - Live In France 1969: on sale $14.98
Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers - Live In France 1959: on sale $9.98
Johnny Griffin - Live In France 1971: on sale $9.98
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