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Jose Reyes

Art Blakey and his big band?

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The name of this 1957 album is “Art Blakey Big Band” and it is a killer! All these legends playing together but not in a familiar manner. It’s very elegant and perfectly executed but not what you would expect from these hard boppers. So don’t get your hopes high unless you treat it solely as a big band album. You will hear Coltrane, Donald Byrd, Bill Hardman, Idrees Sulieman and many more but not with much improvisation as normal. Art Blakey takes it another notch with his signature rumblings and Coltrane toils a little but again he’s limited with time, his so-called solos are just miniature teasers. Now if you are a big band fan, then you have yourself a collectible album, enjoy!

About the album (From London Jazz Collector):

This astonishing line-up is fired at you from your speakers in what Bethlehem modestly call “Micro Cosmic Sound”. Put on your Sun Ra glasses and cosmic ray-deflecting tinfoil hat! Astonishing articulate physically electrifying sound. Probably one of the best if not THE best pressing I have ever heard. Since the last time I wrote that, about Tempo as I recall.

I knew of the name Bethlehem, held in reverence by old codgers from US Jazz Collector – chaps  who seem to have been collecting jazz since the Founding Fathers disembarked the Mayflower and headed straight for Fred Cohen’s New York Jazz Centre, King James Bible and Fred’s Guide under arm.

“Gadzooks!  Goody Cohen, what is this ear I see?”

“Tis no “ear” Sire, tis the symbol of the Plaftylite Company, purveyors of fine music. When someone invents the hi fidelity gramophone……Read More

 

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