A blinding session by Blakey! Truly one of his all-time great ones, and a record we've been putting on the turntable for 20 years, still always with new delight! The session was recorded in 1961 – when Blakey was working with Bobby Timmons, Lee Morgan, and Wayne Shorter (who's especially fantastic here!) For some incredibly odd reason, the session was not issued at the time – and only came out briefly at the end of the 60s. It's amazing, though – and features 6 stunning tracks that will forever restore your faith in jazz, even at your darkest moments. Includes "Ping Pong", "Roots & Herbs", "Master Mind", "Look At the Birdie", and "United".
During the early '60s, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers were the leading practitioners of hard bop and set a new standard for hard-swinging blues-inflected jazz. This rare Blue Note disc from 1961 showcases the composing talents of Wayne Shorter, who was the Messengers' music director throughout his tenure with the group. This is certainly the prime era of the Messengers with Lee Morgan filling out the front line with Shorter and Bobby Timmons or Walter Davis Jr. on piano alongside Blakey and Jymie Merritt in the rhythm section.