A nice collection of overlooked work from Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – not the oft-reissued material from the group's years at Blue Note, but instead some slightly more obscure sides recorded for Columbia and RCA
! The work here also represents a time when Blakey was experimenting a bit more with the group – a stretch right before he settled into some of the more-recorded groups with Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, and Bobby Timmons – but still had a great ear for important younger talent! Players here include Bill Hardman, Donald Byrd, and Lee Morgan on trumpets; Jackie McLean on alto; Johnny Griffin, Hank Mobley, and Benny Golson on tenor; and Horace Silver and Sam Dockery on piano! The set includes material from the albums Hard Bop, Drum Suite, Jazz Messengers, Night In Tunisia, and some of the French-only live recordings that Blakey did for RCA
in the late 50s – and the set features 16 tracks that include "Nica's Dream", "Evidence", "Blues March For Europe No 1", "Along Came Manon", "Lester Left Town", "Night In Tunisia (live)", "Moanin With Hazel", "Night In Tunisia (take 3)", "Ecaroh", "Cubano Chant", "Almost Like Being In Love", "The Sacrifie", and "Couldn't It Be You (take 4)".