I purchased this by mistake - my fault - it's not the Wayne Shorter/Bobby Timmons/Lee Morgan 1960 recording. Confusingly there are 2 completely different versions of this title with (other than the title track) totally different tracks. I'm now off to buy that one!
Despite that this 1957 recording featuring the Messengers second line up is worth adding to your collection - hard bop lead by their powerful drumming leader. Be warned however it's a cheap Hallmark release (remember naff Pickwick vinyl - same company!), so no information other than the line up and the track listing. I try to avoid Hallmark for this and sound quality reasons. I'd say the sound quality is a tad flat but then it is a 1950s recording. Only 5 tracks on this 2012 issue - no alternate takes.
The alto sax player listed as one Ferris Benda is apparently the pseudonym of the grossly under appreciated Jackie McLean. (See front of CD pic for line up). Incidently this is the only time that McLean and John Griffin played together on a Blakey recording.
Some fine solos and interplay from all throughout. 4 stars only because of the lack of info on the Hallmark CD. Better to buy a different label release - originally released on Vik.
Purchased to replace battered LP - Brought back memories of late nights and Ronnie Scotts Although very much of an era still fun and involving - supremely competent musicians doing what they do (or did) best.
I'd read a review that said the sound quality on some of these Hallmark CDs, to be questionable, in the least. I can safely say, that the sound quality on this CD is excellent. Blakey gives his kit a battering, on the title track.
Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers - A Night In Tunisia (Vik LAX 1115) Bill Hardman (trumpet) Jackie McLean (alto saxophone) Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone) Sam Dockery (piano) Spanky DeBrest (bass) Art Blakey (drums) NYC, April 8, 1957
"A Night in Tunisia" (Gillespie, Paparelli) -- 12:55 "Off the Wall" (Griffin) -- 7:16 "Theory of Art" (Hardman) -- 9:46 "Couldn't It Be You?" (Blakey, McLean) -- 8:12 "Evans" (Rollins) 6:30
This is the earlier album from 1957, not the same name Blue Note album, from 1960.
This is a strange record, because when they were in the studio they recorded two version of each track except for the tune "Evans" and because of the length of each tune, they were issued one time on a double Lp set on the RCA label. Then they were out with all the tracks on a cd I think only in Japan.
What we have here is the four longest takes of each of the songs plus "Evens", the four shorter takes are on "Vol 46" of "The Modern Jazz" 100 cd set on the Document label, a box set that has many interesting items, some of which are very rare (Like these takes) or expensive if tried to be bought as single issued cds. items.