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Free For All Content/Copy-Protected CD, Original recording remastered

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Aug 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Content/Copy-Protected CD, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B0002GAF8E
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,452 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Free For All (Rudy Van Gelder 24-Bit Remastering) (2004 Digital Remaster)
2. Hammer Head (Rudy Van Gelder 24-Bit Remastering) (2004 Digital Remaster)
3. The Core (Rudy Van Gelder 24-Bit Remastering) (2004 Digital Remaster)
4. Pensativa (Rudy Van Gelder 24-Bit Remastering) (2004 Digital Remaster)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Ian Thumwood on 28 Mar 2005
Format: Audio CD
Throughout the 1950's and 60's, Blue Note issued hundreds of records that came to define what became known as "Hard Bop." Unlike other labels, they paid the musicians for their rehersal time and the tightness of the bands reflects this. I suspect that this contributes alot to the on-going popularity of records that are now over forty years old.
On this CD, Art Blakey leads his firey Jazz Messengers through four extended tracks on a testosterone-fuelled session that, for many , defines what "Hard Bop" was all about. There is little room for subtlety in this set and the opening title track sets the tone. This is undoubtedly the finest Messeneger's line-up with Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard and Curtis Fuller completing the front line. (Shorter is particularly good - this being just a few months before he joined Miles Davis.) Pianist Cedar Walton and bassist Reggie Workman are up for it too, but it is Blakey who dominates everything. His playing is evidence that , if you couldn't hold your own on the bandstand, he would wipe you out. Sometimes, it sounds like there are two drummers. Only the closing "Pensativa" offers a contrast to the bombastic onslaught.
From the first note, it is evident that this album is a killer and would certainly appear to warrant it's reputation as Blakey's finest. The title track fuese elements of free-ish playing but this does not detract from Balkey's ferocious groove. If anything, it only serves to make the music more indendiary. Whilst I would concede that there is room for all types of jazz at all decibel levels, the Blakey manifesto of no band being better that it's drummer, is surely demonstrated by this album. This CD makes Horace Silver sound as delicate as the MJQ !! Excellent recording too. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Moontrane TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Nov 2012
Format: Audio CD
Art Blakey(1919-1990) was firing on all cylinders for this exceptional sextet session recorded in New Jersey on February 10, 1964 with Wayne Shorter(tenor sax), Freddie Hubbard(trumpet), Curtis Fuller(trombone), Cedar Walton(piano) & Blakey leading on drums.
The four lengthy Coltrane-influenced tracks include two Wayne Shorter compositions, one from Freddie Hubbard and a standard from Clare Fischer.
This excellent RVG Edition(2004) is one of the finest albums by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and a good representation of their brand of intense and exciting hard bop.
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By annakindly on 2 Oct 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I will keep this simple for those of us who are searching the world of jazz for truly breathtaking performances.
This is just that! Look no further (well at least until you have enjoyed it a while first) :)x
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 29 reviews
54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Hard Bop At Its Best! 18 Aug 2004
By Andrew Stevenson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If aliens from another galaxy landed on earth and asked me "what is hard bop jazz?" I would hand them this CD. It is arguably one of the two best efforts by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (the other is titled Indestructible).....and that's saying something! When the title cut was recorded it must have melted down Rudy Van Gelder's studio. Wayne Shorter's opening tenor saxophone solo absolutely shreds! If you listen closely you can hear his bandmates cheering him on.....and keep in mind this was recorded in a studio. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and trombonist Curtis Fuller are also on fire. During Blakey's drum solo he lets out a loud moan as if there was so much emotion even his drums couldn't express it. The rest of the album is also top notch! If you can own only one Art Blakey CD make it this one. If you can own only two make the other one "Indestructible."
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
My favorite album ever--PERIOD 5 Mar 2006
By Michael Hardin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In 1964 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers stepped into Rudy van Gelder's studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and probably melted the inside of the building. With great material and truly special inspiration, they created a record of the most uncompromising, in-your-face hard bop recorded to date. Musical director Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone contributes two high energy originals and probably the best playing of his five year Messengers tenure, Freddie Hubbard contributes the other two tunes, one original and one arrangement, and also blows his brains out on trumpet, Curtis Fuller adds a rich third voice and some great trombone playing, Cedar Walton plays some great and tasteful piano, both in accompaniment and solo, Reggie Workman really pushes the sound of the band into a more advanced rhythmic feel, and Art Blakey of course plays like a man on fire, creating volcanic energy that kicks the band up to a superhuman level. Fine, this description may sound like Leonard Feather-esque hype, but it's really not. This album is incredible.

The whole album is great but there are two standout tracks. The first is the eleven minute title track. A perfectly formed Wayne Shorter original, it is voiced in rich three part harmony over an insistent rhythmic figure (though not rigid--Reggie Workman's embellishments and displacement of time makes it a very free-flowing feel) and a bridge whose release and buildup of tension sounds a lot like a train getting closer. The solos from the horns and Blakey are very intense and Shorter and Hubbard shred in particular. The high energy level is maintained throughout this tune, then the next two are almost as intense ("Hammerhead" drops the tempo without losing any of the energy) before culminating in the perfectly placed "Pensativa." It is a beautiful Clare Fischer medium-up Latin tune gorgeously arranged by Freddie Hubbard. I took four hours once to transcribe the arrangement and its absolutely brilliant use of tension in the horn voicings. This tune keeps the energy of before but the intensity level backs off and it's the perfect close to a great album.

This album will appeal to those who enjoy "Mosaic," an earlier Messengers outing with similar personnel. This album is in a similar vein but better. In terms of Art Blakey newcomers, "Moanin'" or "The Big Beat" is a better place to start, but once you're ready for this album, it will blow your mind.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
this is the one! 7 Aug 2005
By James A. Pantano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
the first time i heard the jazz messengers i was in my car listening to some public radio jazz show. a minute into the tune "free for all" and i began to stare at the radio in disbelief. i actually became nervous because the song i was hearing was so great i was sure that the dj would not bother to mention who i was hearing or would mumble something incoherent like, that was owhiubuigwugw. add into the mix my wife and three kids along for the ride, were all babling away. so the song ends, and about three more other songs were played. finally the dj starts mumbling like i knew he would and i kept hearing all these names - cannonball adderly, thad jones/mel lewis orchestra and a couple of other artist i dont remember, and im yelling at my wife write that down! write that down! so i took that napkin list to the cd store and bought all of them. just because free for all is such an amazing tune. but wait! the rest of the album is just as good! as a matter of fact the tune "the core" actually matches it in intensity. all of the musicians on this cd are just amazing, in fact i was so smitten with the trumpet playing by freedie hubbard on this cd (the trumpet solo in the core is just stunning)i went and picked up a whole bunch of his cd's and now im getting into wayne shorter as well. and of course let me not forget the awesome drumming of art blakey and the stellar musicianship of bassist reg workman, pianist cedar walton and trombonist curt fuller. just a terrific album and the others i had to buy with it were great as well! as a side note if you like the last song on this cd "pensativa" you can hear an absolutely killer live version of it on freddie hubbards the night of the cookers cd. its 22:15 long and contains one of the most awesome trumpet duals between freedie and lee morgan! lee of course was the trumpet player for the jazz messengers after freddie. also i would like to add that for all the intensity this collection of tunes has, it is one of the most melodic jazz cd's i have ever heard. i frequently find myself whistling these tunes to myself. just a great, great cd. highly recommended.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
take a trip to the woodshed... 12 Sep 2002
By NotATameLion - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Once again--what can be said in the face of sheer greatness? This album falls into my "possible greatest of all time" category.
Art Blakey is awesome. He takes his companions to the woodshed in the title track. If ever one single song was worth the price of an entire disc it has to be "Free for All." There is no other song quite like it.
It'd be one thing if Blakey were blowing away your everyday jazz masters, but he's taking on the likes of Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard here...no scrubs.
Don't let my focus on the opening track deceive you. The rest of the disc is outstanding as well. "Hammer Head" s one of my favorite songs to space out and drift away to.
"Free for All" earns my highest recommendation. The only shame is that I can only give it five stars.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Strongly Recommended 14 Aug 2004
By Peter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've only had a CD-R of this album for the past year or so as it was out of print and I wasn't able to find a moderately priced copy. So I was very happy when I found out that it would be released as a RVG (along with Andrew Hill's Black Fire and Joe Henderson's Inner Urge this has been a great summer). As for the music "Jesus F*****g Christ" is the first thing that comes to mind. This CD has some of the most intense music I've ever heard. Wayne Shorter's solo on the title track is unbelievable, him and Blakey are absolutely ferocious. The title track, in particular, just feels like it towers over you. You can hear how much Blakey leads and inspires the group with his playing. The recording quality is also stellar. The details and overtones of Blakey's cymbals are captured especially beautifully. I think that this is one of those albums when there was some kind of magic throughout the session and everything that could have gone right seems to have. I have no reserves in recommending this album and I can't imagine anyone being dissapointed with it. Take advantage of this rereleased and remastered masterpiece.
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