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Crate Digger’s: Drum Suite – Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

December 16, 2012

Drum SuiteHere is another $1 find that has blown me away.  I purchased this because it was a buck, it was Art Blakey and it had kind of cool cover.  Even though this is a fair to poor condition record with lots of light crackle, you can still tell this is a sonically superb recording.  The power of the music completely overshadows the poor condition of this LP.  The monophonic mix really pops out of the speakers.  I would love to have a mint version of this.

This 1956 recording has two distinct sides.  Side 1 is an amazing Afro-Cuban, Latin, jazz suite with a heavy emphasis on percussion. Side 2 is conventional bop leftovers from an early session – good stuff, but it is side 1 that makes this an amazing recording.  Side 1 is not really Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, but a unique group called the Art Blakey Percussion Ensemble featuring: drummers Jo Jones, Charles Wright and Art Blakey, bassist Oscar Pettiford, pianist Ray Bryant, and Cuban percussionists Candido and Sabu.

My favorite cut is Oscalypso composed by the legendary jazz bass player Oscar Pettiford.  Pettiford starts and the song with cello.  If the linear notes had identified this a cello I am not sure I would have figured out what it was. Kind of sounding like a bass, but also drum like in its tone – it is otherworldly.  That cello tone would make an awesome sample in the right person’s hands.  The whole song is pretty amazing.  If you see this album in a crate and if is in playable condition – grab it!

One Comment
  1. Like I say, I love your “Crate Digging”. How’s this for a related treasure, I’m walking by my neighbors today and he comes out and gives me an album. ‘Don Shirley Point of View’. Going to give it a listen this afternoon.

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