Art Blakey was one of the greatest of all jazz drummers, a masterful talent scout and the inspiring leader of the Jazz Messengers. For 35 years (1955-90), the Jazz Messengers featured brilliant young talent who were pushed by Blakey to write new music and play at their very best. One certainly could not coast with Blakey's explosive drumming constantly egging on the players.
The who's who of jazz passed through Blakey's band for several generations, with everyone from Freddie Hubbard and Wynton Marsalis to Benny Golson and Horace Silver benefiting from the hard-swinging experience. But few lineups could compete with the 1960 edition of the Jazz Messengers featured on The Big Beat. Blakey, the "old man" of the band at 30, is joined by bassist Jymie Merritt and three brilliant stylists who were not only exciting soloists but very skilled songwriters: trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor-saxophonist Wayne Shorter and pianist Bobby Timmons.
The Big Beat introduces Timmons' "Dat Dere" (which practically defines soul jazz) and Shorter's "Lester Left Town" (a tribute to Lester Young) and includes an inventive version of "It's Only A Paper Moon" along with a few other lesser-known but colorful pieces. This is hard bop at its finest from one of the most immortal jazz groups of all time.
Like all Music Matters Jazz releases, this audiophile vinyl reissue is mastered from the original analog tape and pressed on 180g virgin vinyl at RTI in Camarillo, CA. The highest quality gatefold cover features original session photography on the inside.See more Art Blakey records here