Track Selection: The Egyptian
Lee Morgan (tp) Curtis Fuller (tb) Wayne Shorter (ts) Cedar Walton (p) Reggie Workman (b) Art Blakey (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, April 24 and May 15, 1964
Late-bop, more urgency, more tension, less swing, the influence of Wayne Shorter prominent, and a magnificent Messengers line up adding texture with Curtis Fuller on trombone.
A lay reviewer on Amazon gives you the full lowdown: “…if you thought you had heard all Blakey’s major recordings and would like the joy of discovering yet another classic from the master drummer/band-leader, this is the one to add to your collection….The hard bop heat is tempered to medium by the modal influence of Miles Davis’ work – which these guys were obviously listening to in this year just before Wayne Shorter switched over to the Davis lineage. ….. The group’s new bassist, Regge Workman, is primed from working with the likes of Sonny Rollins: he gives the Messengers a deep edge, a rudder that veers slightly outside the blues into the uncharted waters of post-bop.
I would venture to say that this is among Blakey’s five greatest CD’s (The Evil Silver Disk) : its right up there with Moanin’. Peak performances by six musicians at their career summits. This session has the tight grooves of ‘Moanin’ with the outside edges of Blakey’s wilder recordings…. What a delighful discovery if you, like me, thought you’d already heard their best!
Vinyl: BST 84193 stereo
Earless – one of those Blue Note recordings allocated its BN number but a deferred date of release eventually pressed by Liberty. Wikipedia claims it was released “in early 1965”. So where is the ear, Wiki-peeps?
With its 1964 session date, Indestructible! is probably the lowest Blue Note catalogue number found without the “ear”. Blakey recorded prolifically in the early Sixties and Alfred Lion had a strict personal policy about not saturating the market with any one recording artist (except Jimmy Smith). So the first pressing is for Liberty (I believe pressed by RCA), though using previously printed stock New York labels
Top selling copy on Popsike at $124 says ” 1964 Blue Note 4141 – Original 1st Press (“New York USA label) “Van Gelder” stamped on both sides of dead wax. / No “Ear” etched. With original BLUE NOTE inner sleeve previously printed cover with 43 West 61st address”
Despite NY labels, there is no ear, because first pressing was outside the Blue Note era, probably within the first year after the 1966 sale to Liberty. But it is a Blue Note in every other respect.
Source: South London record store with somewhat quirky vinyl jazz – the occasional interesting original among many inexpensive reissues, but always fairly priced, and the shop turnover helped along by the steady flow of rock and pop and DVDs.
Its a bargain, grab it.
Experimenting with ways in which to highlight the etchings in runout groove at the same time as the label detail using 4-stop overexposure and layer blending modes, without relying on window light. Not brilliant but a result with a difficult subject. You can now see the relative size of the catalogue number and the clock-position of the VAN GELDER stamp, and the absence of the ear. (click to view at 1600 pixels) It still looks like a record but with high dynamic range (HDR)