Art Blakey – Art Blakey Big Band (1957/2013) [ProStudioMasters FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Art Blakey – Art Blakey Big Band (1957/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 34:35 minutes | 750 MB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: ProStudioMasters |  © Bethlehem Records / Verse Music Group
Recorded: New York City, December, 1957

Quite an unusual record from Art Blakey – a rare big band session, recorded with a lineup that’s quite different than the usual Jazz Messengers! Turns out, Blakey’s quite good in this setting – and has the same firey energy to direct a larger ensemble that he has when working with a smaller quintet. The added players here really help him express some new musical ideas with greater depth – almost like the added percussionists on some of his drum-heavy Blue Note dates of the late 50s.

Members of the group include John Coltrane and Al Cohn on tenor, Sahib Shihab on alto, Donald Byrd and Idrees Sulieman on trumpet, Melba Liston on trombone, and Walter Bishop on piano – and titles include ‘Last Date’, ‘The Outer World’, ‘Midriff’, ‘Tippin’, and ‘Pristine’.

Throughout his long career as a bandleader, drummer Art Blakey very rarely played with big bands. This Bethlehem date was a one-shot affair, an opportunity for his powerful drumming to be heard propelling a 15-piece orchestra through a set of mostly new material. With such soloists as John Coltrane (who is also featured on two quintet numbers), trombonist Jimmy Cleveland and trumpeters Donald Byrd and Ray Copeland, this was a potentially mighty band; its arrangers included Melba Liston and Al Cohn. This LP is worth searching for. -AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

1. Midriff 03:17
2. Ain’t Life Grand 03:21
3. Tippin’ 06:23
4. Pristine 05:35
5. El Toro Valiente 02:43
6. The Kiss Of No Return 05:37
7. Late Date 03:33
8. The Outer World 04:06

Donald Byrd, Ray Copeland, Bill Hardman, Idrees Sulieman – trumpet
Jimmy Cleveland, Melba Liston, Frank Rehak – trombone
Bill Graham, Sahib Shihab – alto saxophone
Al Cohn, John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
Bill Slapin – baritone saxophone
Walter Bishop Jr. – piano
Wendell Marshall – bass
Art Blakey – drums
Tracks #3, 4:
Donald Byrd – trumpet
John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
Walter Bishop Jr. – piano
Wendell Marshall – bass
Art Blakey – drums