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Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Art Blakey (drums); Thelonious Monk (piano); Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone); Bill Hardman (trumpet); Spanky DeBrest (bass).
  • Includes liner notes by Martin Williams and Nat Hentoff.
  • All tracks have been digitally remastered.
  • Personnel: Art Blakey (drums); Thelonious Monk (piano); Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone); Bill Hardman (trumpet); Spanky DeBrest (bass).
  • Includes liner notes by Martin Williams.
  • Two giants of modern jazz collaborate on this session of all-Monk tunes. Recorded in 1958, Blakey's always-impressive Jazz Messengers are joined by the Mad Professor himself (this record affords a glimpse of Monk as a distinguished and individual accompanist, in addition to his usual dazzling lead performances), for workouts on such classics as "Blue Monk," "Rhythm-a-ning," and "In Walked Bud."
  • Side by side, Blakey and Monk exhibit a strong, electric interplay, and the similarities of their approaches (both are concerned with space, polyrhythms, meter and accent) are evident. In "I Mean You," for example, Blakey carries the standard time of the piece, yet introduces a simultaneous line that forms a dialogue with the melody and rhythm. Likewise, Monk improvises harmonic variations in the two choruses of the same song; the first is a descending motif, the second a contrasting line turned around and inside out. Inventive treats like these, as well as some strong playing from horn men Johnny Griffin and Bill Hardman, make this outing of the Messengers and Monk of interest to aficionados and casual listeners alike.
Professional Reviews
JazzTimes (9/99, p.89) - "...Monk's solos here are among the most vivid recorded examples of his perfect time and his don't-fill-in-the-blanks approach to soloing....a fine and underrated edition of the Messengers..."
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