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Art Blakey - The Freedom Rider: 180 Gram. Limited Edition ((Vinyl))
Full performer name: Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers.
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: Art Blakey (drums); Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Lee Morgan (trumpet); Bobby Timmons (piano); Jymie Merritt (bass).
Producer: Alfred Lion.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on February 12 & 18 and May 27, 1961.
Digitally remastered using 20-bit technology by Ron McMaster.
The title of the Jazz Messengers' THE FREEDOM RIDER was inspired by civil rights protestors of the '60s. The passion with which Blakey and his men play on this session is proof enough of the strong convictions at the heart of the struggles of the time. Indeed, the fire and emotion contained herein can be felt as well as heard. This session portrays the Messengers of the early '60s (before the departure of Lee Morgan and Bobby Timmons) in fine form.
The bulk of the compositions here are by Wayne Shorter and Lee Morgan. Shorter's swaggering "Tell It Like It Is" opens the set, fueled by Blakey's signature shuffle beat. Later, his bouncing "El Toro" is a passionate mambo/swing number that showcases the group's stunning ensemble work. Morgan's bluesy "Petty Larceny" takes a page from Timmons soulful style and his blistering "Uptight" is a classic Messengers barnburner. The centerpiece of the disc, however, is the powerful unaccompanied Blakey solo that constitutes the title cut. The cut showcases the man at his skilled, dramatic best as he crashes, pounds and whirls through over seven minutes of raw, primal expression. This performance alone is worth the price of the disc.
- RSD Release Date: DDD
- Genre: Jazz