I’ll be attending a little “audiophile gathering” this weekend. We usually bring along some records. I selected 10 records randomly to put aside so I won’t forget. This is what I’ll be bringing.
Muddy Waters - Muddy Waters Sings Big Bill
Sam Cooke - Night Beat
Miles Davis - Miles Davis Plays Al Cohn
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - I Learned the Hard Way
Lightnin’ Hopkins - Lightnin’ in New York
Curtis Mayfield - Superfly
John Coltrane - Coltrane’s Sound
Buddy Guy and Junior Wells - Drinkin’ TNT ‘N’ Smokin’ Dynamite
Tinariwen - Aman Iman
Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers - Caravan
Art Blakey – Interview & Performance
An interview with Art Blakey from 1965 and a performance of Freddie Hubbard’s “Jodo” with Hubbard, Nathan Davis, Jaki Byard and Reggie Workman.
The Jazz Epistles - Jazz Epistle Verse 1
In the late 50s and early 60s, there was a healthy cultural exchange between African Americans and Africans. As far back as the late 50s and early 60s, bebop and hard bop jazz groups were forming all over Africa. One such group was The Jazz Epistles in South Africa. Think of them as a South African version of Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers. The group included a young Hugh Masekela.
Full line up below
Piano: Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim), Trombone: Jonas Gwangwa, Trumpet: Hugh Masekela, Alto Sax, Clarinet: Kippie Moeketsi, Bass: Johnny Gertze, Drums: Makaya Ntshoko
The name of this song is Politely. It was composed by Bill Hardman, a truly unsung trumpeter and composer. I had a chat with a friend about Hardman not long ago, and he dubbed him as the forgotten Jazz Messenger. Unless you’re a true hard bop connoisseur, you probably wouldn’t know the name. Hardman, due to bad timing (or bad luck depending on how you look at it) never recorded with any iteration of Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers during their Blue Note tenure, which was their most visible period.
One early appearance of Hardman in the Jazz Messengers line up was in 1958 when Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers recorded an album with Thelonious Monk. See it here.
Hardman recorded, toured and played gigs as a member of The Jazz Messengers. The albums he appeared on were just not as popular as the Blue Note records which had either Lee Morgan or Freddie Hubbard handling the trumpet duties. The lack of popularity of the Jazz Messengers titles with Hardman has no bearing on the quality. Rest assured, it’s top notch stuff.
Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers had their romantic moments. Hard Bop is for lovers.
Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers Featuring Woody Shaw and Cedar Walton - Anthenagin
Bobby Timmons is one of the most unappreciated musicians in the last century. Despite his immense contributions as a pianist and a composer, he is still relatively unknown. Musicians all over the world play his songs as standards, but few know him. At the time (circa early to mid 60s), mainstream America probably knew more about Mel Torme’s live rendition version of Timmons’ song Dat Dere (lyrics written by Oscar Brown Jr. btw), than they knew about Timmons himself, despite the fact that he was alive and was in his 20s.
Timmons played a pivotal role in the development of soul jazz, bringing his own bluesy, funky, gospel infused sound. Kenny Dorham put Timmons on this record, when he was only 20. The rest is history. Timmons is mostly known for his stint with Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, and various iterations of his trio as a leader.
Unfortunately, Timmons died in 1974 at the age of 38.