Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

One of my all-time favorites. Art Blakey was a powerhouse on the drums and I listened to him relentlessly when I was learning to play. NPR has a feature on some Hard Bop jazz giants with a handful of tracks to listen to on their Take Five Sampler this week. They've included the Jazz Messengers track "Moanin" from the above album. (Get the download at Amazon)

If you have 9 minutes to be blown away check this performance of "A Night in Tunisia" from a 1959 Paris television performance. Blakey turns it loose right from the gate. At around the 5 and 6:30 minute marks he speaks with his hands again. THEN listen close during Lee Morgan's trumpet solo at the end and you hear Blakey talk back to him while he plays. (Download a great recorded version at Amazon - This one changed my life in high school)

Personnel: Art Blakey, Drums; Jimmy Merrit, Bass; Walter Davis Jr., Piano; Wayne Shorter, Saxaphone; Lee Morgan, Trumpet.