Art Blakey Jazz Messengers (1961)

Selected Track: “Alamode” >

Art Blakey (d) Wayne Shorter (ts) Lee Morgan (t) Jymie Merritt (b) Bobby Timmons (p) Curtis Fuller (trb)


More Curtis Fuller, this time fast forward to 1961. An early Impulse catalogue number  A-7, released by HMV for the UK market with no distinguishing  title except “Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers”. After Blakey’s flirtation with Europe and Barney Wilen on tenor, a revamped Jazz Messengers with Wayne Shorter firmly in the saxophone seat, Blakey freshens up the line up by adding Curtis Fuller on trombone, and a heady mixture it makes. Just when you think: “Do I really need yet another Art Blakey album?” this comes along and suprises you. It’s good stuff, as always.

Vinyl CLP1532 (Impulse! A7)

Dependable pressing quality I’ve come to expect from HMV, rich and engaging, with a lively top-end. Superior – I have to say – to the few US  Impulse! originals I have acquired. This is maybe where the fight breaks out, as I have spoken many times with DJ-types and record shop staff who swear by Impulse! Yes they are cheaper than Blue Note, and yes they are easier to find, and they are “vinyl”. But worlds apart in experience. The quality of the source counts. Enough of the HiFi blather, if it sounds good to you, then it is.

3 thoughts on “Art Blakey Jazz Messengers (1961)

  1. Cook & Morton, surprisingly, are very perfunctory about this one, awarding it two stars in their 1994 edition but three-and-a-half in 2004 (never saying why!), quoting wrong personnel (Hubbard, Walton), and providing zero information. In other words, they never even saw it, let alone listened to it. Big mistake! Great, great music.

    The, uhm… distinguishing title of the Impulse original was “Impulse!!!!” but HMV apparently decided to blot it out with their own logo.

  2. I have a copy of this record from 1961. The record company is Jasmine manufactured under Licence by MCA Records. Is this record of any value?

    • Jazz Antiques Roadshow eh Jackie? Let me see. Interesting little trinket, obviously the work of Jasmine The Elder from the hand stitching… seriously, the recording may be 1961, but Jasmine records was set up in the early Eighties, and reissued a lot of jazz recordings for the UK market. They are not particularly collectible and are fairly common on the second hand market. I’ve not seen this particular one, but I would value it around £7 – 10 retail, which means a couple of quid from a shop buyer. Blakey was fairly prolific and the only stuff of real value in his catalogue are mid fifties to early sixties Blue Notes originals in excellent condition. You could eBay it at £3.99 starters.

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