Killer stuff by Art
– 2 albums in single set! Jazz Messengers is one of his few non-Blue Note sessions from the time – and a hard-wailing set that features the Messengers as a sextet, with an all-star group that includes Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons, and Curtis Fuller. With a lineup like that, the record crackles with the intensity of Blakey
's best Blue Note work – a fierce mixture of hardbop, soul jazz, and visionary jazz that set the standard for many groups to come! The album includes a great version of Fuller's "Ala Mode", plus nice Messenger takes on standards like "Invitation", "I Hear A Rhapsody", and "You Don't Know What Love Is" – all wailing, of course! A Jazz Message features Art Blakey
, without any Jazz Messengers – but still coming through loud and clear, thanks to help from a unique group that features Sonny Stitt on tenor, McCoy Tyner on piano, and Art
Davis on bass! The album's still got all the hardbop charm of Blakey
's best Blue Note dates, but also feels a bit more spontaneous too – and the basslines of Davis are a wonderful change from the usual – beautiful sounds that drive the record quite strongly up from the bottom! Titles include the killer "Cafe", plus "Blues Back", "Just Knock On My Door", "Summertime", and "The Song Is You" – and the album features fantastic blowing from Stitt!