Track Selection: Night Watch (Mobley)
Lee Morgan (tp) Wayne Shorter (ts) Bobby Timmons (p) Jymie Merritt (b) Art Blakey (d) recorded at “Birdland”, NYC, various sets , September 14, 1960
Do I sense a degree of mischief for Art Blakey to announce pointedly the tune “Night Watch, written by Hank Mobley” when you have Mobley’s replacement Wayne Shorter standing there on tenor? The music is great stuff nonetheless, selected from five sets recorded at Birdland that day.
Double vision? This ”at the corner” release is not to be confused with another two-volume set at Birdland (left) by Art Blakey BN 4015/4016 Vol1/2 Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers – At The Jazz Corner Of The World, recorded eighteen months previously at “Birdland”, NYC, April 15, 1959 – same line up except Mobley on Tenor, now replaced by Shorter. That makes a total of four “corners”, which I believe makes it a square.
To add to any confusion the 4055/4056 Vol1/2 gives the title as ”Meet you at the jazz corner of the world” while the labels declare the title “Meet me at the jazz corner of the world”.
And neither of these two double volumes should be confused with yet another Blakey double volume “A Night at Birdland”, recorded in 1954, with a completely different earlier Jazz Messengers line up: Clifford Brown, trumpet; Lou Donaldson, alto saxophone; Horace Silver, piano; Curly Russell, bass; with Blakey being the only common link.
The only other thing that may have changed by 1960 is Van Gelders available choice of microphones. Some of you know about these things. At least Rudy should know his way around the acoustics of Birdland by now.
Vinyl: BLP 4055 mono
Original Blue Note Plastylite pressing on 47 West 63rd labels, RVG machine stamp but no Deep Groove anywhere, which according to the seller means it is not a first press, (but a second pressing, using up the stock of labels printed for the first run, rather than newer NY labels). Owners of Fred Cohen’s bible will know for sure. Nevertheless it is original Blue Note and sounds exactly as it should.
RVG and ear, mono catalogue no.
Liner notes a trifle battered and fallen victim to that scourge of record collectors everywhere, the evil Sellotape. (or “Scotch” as they call it here in France)
“I believe that this is a slightly later pressing, as it has no deep groove (which was present on all BN first pressings up to and including 4058).Both labels are very clean, and legible, with no marks or writing.There is virtually no centre hole wear, and only the slightest spindle marks. The vinyl itself is in very nice condition, with no scratches, or serious flaws. There are a couple of very light (and non-sounding) surface marks visible under strong and oblique light, but no more than you might expect from the record being removed from its sleeve several times during its 50-year life.
The album plays cleanly throughout, and both the original RVG mastering and the high quality of the Plastylite vinyl are apparent! There is a very little occasional surface noise on the side lead in and lead out vinyl, and on the few quieter passages, and the very occasional light pop,but I found that neither were sonically intrusive, and did not affect my own listening pleasure when I played the disc.”
I love it when a record is being described, not by a shifty dealer in Northern Soul singles, but a proper vinyl buff who has play graded it and described it honestly. And he didn’t use the word “RARE!” once. My Japanese Toshiba-EMI copy of Volume 1 now has an original companion. “Velly nice, Engrish”