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.
ART BLAKEY, drums LEE MORGAN, trumpet BENNY GOLSON, tenor saxophone BOBBY TIMMONS, piano JYMIE MERRITT, Bass
Recorded live in Scheveningen, 1958
01. Introduction by Art Blakey 02. Moaning 03. Announcement by Art Blakey 04. Along Came Betty 05. Announcement by Art Blakey 06. Evidence/Justice
01. Just by Myself 02. Announcement by Art Blakey 03. I Remember Clifford 04. Announcement by Art Blakey 05. Now Is the Time 06. Announcement by Art Blakey 07. Whisper Not 08. Night in Tunisia