ART BLAKEY LIVE IN SCHEVENINGEN 1958 - Jazzmessengers blog
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The 1958 version of the Jazz Messengers were widely recorded during their stay in Europe, but this new album recorded Live in Scheveningen is previously released. This band with trumpeter Lee Morgan, Benny Golson on tenor, and pianist Bobby Timmons was particularly strong, and it is quite enjoyable to hear them stretch out on such songs as “I Remember Clifford,” “Moanin’,” “Night in Tunisia,” or “Whisper Not.” Hard bop at its best, all of it propelled by the powerful drumming of Art Blakey.

It was the evening of 29 November 1958. On the stage of the Kurhaus in Scheveningen, Art Blakey grabbed the microphone to say, “I would like to take a moment and say good evening on behalf of the Jazz Messengers and myself.” Everyone present could feel that this was a concert that would go down in history.

Art Blakey began the evening by presenting his line-up. Kind words: for each one, a little hyperbole, a tad too much praise – enough to create a light-hearted, intimate atmosphere. Then, over the evening, he introduced each piece, each time jokingly promoting the Blue Note label and eliciting chuckles among the audience. While the band played, Art never stole the limelight, however inventive the pulsating rhythms of his sticks, emerging whenever he felt his magic should work its spell. His legendary multiple bounce rolls following on the heels of the piano and saxophone solos brought them depth and colour, extending their horizons, strengthening them, making them ever more limpid.

Over thirty years later, when Art Blakey died, The New York Times quoted Max Roach: “Art was an original. He’s the only drummer whose time I recognize immediately. And his signature style was amazing; we used to call him ‘Thunder’”. The storm had already thundered over the stage of the Kurhaus that night in 1958.

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