Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Three Blind Mice (1962/2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Three Blind Mice (1962/2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 40:49 minutes | 372 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © United Artists Records

Three Blind Mice is a 1962 jazz album released by Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers on the United Artists Jazz label, featuring live material recorded in 1962 Club Renaissance, Hollywood. It was reissued later in 1962 in two volumes by Blue Note Records, adding two tracks recorded in 1961 at The Village Gate and also unreleased material from the primary session. It was bassist Jymie Merritt’s final recording with the group before having to leave to recover from an illness; he would be replaced by Reggie Workman. United Artists and Blue Note re-issued a two-volume CD set, Three Blind Mice Vols. 1 & 2, with all available live tracks from the original date of recording and an alternate take.

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – The Witch Doctor (1961/2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – The Witch Doctor (1961/2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 35:05 minutes | 848 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RevOla

The Witch Doctor is an album by American jazz drummer and bandleader Art Blakey and his group The Jazz Messengers recorded on March 14, 1961 and released on the Blue Note label. It features performances by Blakey with Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons, and Jymie Merritt.

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – The Freedom Rider (1964/2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – The Freedom Rider (1964/2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 54:04 minutes | 1,16 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RevOla

The Freedom Rider is an album by jazz drummer Art Blakey and his group the Jazz Messengers. Continuing Blakey’s distinct brand of hard bop, this album features contributions from Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Blakey himself, and Kenny Dorham, a former Jazz Messenger. This was the final album by this particular edition of the Jazz Messengers, who had been together for 18 months, as Lee Morgan left after this album and was replaced by a Freddie Hubbard. The compositions themselves are varied, with Blakey contributing an energetic drum solo on “The Freedom Rider”; at least three of the compositions on the album are blues pieces. “El Toro” features a solo by Shorter incorporating the sheets of sound technique pioneered by John Coltrane. The CD version contains three bonus tracks originally released on the album Pisces.

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – The Art of Jazz – Live in Leverkusen (1996/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – The Art of Jazz – Live in Leverkusen (1996/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:13:42 minutes | 758 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © IN+OUT Records

The Art of Jazz: Live in Leverkusen is a live album by Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers at the Leverkusen Jazz Festival in Germany on October 9, 1989. To commemorate Blakey’s 70th birthday (October 11), the concert featured many special guests—most of whom were former Messengers. Singer Michelle Hendricks sang a song – “Mr. Blakey”—composed for the occasion by founding Messenger Horace Silver.

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Art Blakey with Jazz Messengers – The Art of Jazz – 70th Birthday Jubilee Concert (Remastered) (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Art Blakey with Jazz Messengers – The Art of Jazz – 70th Birthday Jubilee Concert (Remastered) (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:13:42 minutes | 792 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © IN+OUT Records

Historic concert event celebrating Art Blakey’s 70th Birthday Jubilee Concert ”Newly Remastered”!
This ALL STAR group gathered to celebrate Art Blakey’s 70th Birthday on October 9th 1989. The concert at the Leverkusen Jazz Festival was recorded for broadcast on German television station ZDF.

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Roots & Herbs (1961/2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Roots & Herbs (1961/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 42:14 minutes | 1,80 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records

Originally recorded in 1961, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers’ Roots & Herbs was first released in 1970 and then reissued on CD in 1999. Like many titles in the Blue Note catalog, this fine Blakey outing was initially shelved by Alfred Lion for unknown reasons; thankfully, considering Blakey’s large array of available Blue Note albums, this wasn’t necessarily a crisis. But now that it’s out once again with a 24-bit digital makeover, Roots & Herbs is definitely a welcome addition to the drum master’s CD catalog. Having already been a magnet for such talented hard bop players and writers as Hank Mobley, Benny Golson, Clifford Brown, Horace Silver (who helped form the original group), and Kenny Dorham, the Messengers’ lineup of 1961 featured one of Blakey’s best rosters: In addition to trumpeter Lee Morgan, who would alternate in the early ’60s with Freddie Hubbard, the band featured tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianists Walter Davis, Jr. and Bobby Timmons, and bassist Jymie Merritt. Feeding off six early compositions by Shorter (the CD also includes three alternate takes), all the players reel off topnotch solos atop Blakey’s fluidly galvanizing swing beat. Highlights include “Ping Pong,” “Look at Birdie,” and “Master Mind,” compositions that, in their fetchingly askew way, nicely foreshadow the wealth of ideas to come from Shorter’s pen throughout the ’60s.

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Mosaic (1961/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Mosaic (1961/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 40:07 minutes | 1,62 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records

Mosaic is a 1961 jazz album released by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers on Blue Note Records. It was the first album recorded by one of the most critically acclaimed Jazz Messengers lineups: Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Cedar Walton (piano), Jymie Merritt (bass) and Art Blakey (drums). They recorded and performed together from 1961 into 1964. Hubbard, Walton and Workman became permanent members of the group following the 1961 departures of trumpeter Lee Morgan, pianist Bobby Timmons and bassist Jymie Merritt, though Merritt and others would appear infrequently on subsequent recordings.

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Moanin’ (2013 – Remaster) (1958/2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Moanin’ (2013 – Remaster) (1958/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 40:06 minutes | 1,65 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records

The album is accompanied by its original sleeve notes plus additional photos and newly-written package essays.

“In preparing these hi def remasters, we were very conscientious about maintaining the feel of the original releases while adding a previously unattainable transparency and depth. It now sounds like you’ve set up your chaise lounge right in the middle of Rudy Van Gelder’s studio!” – Blue Note President, Don Was.

Recorded October 30, 1958 in Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ

Originally issued as Blue Note BLP 4003

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Just Coolin’ (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Just Coolin’ (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 38:57 minutes | 1,45 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records

Blue Note will issue a never-before-released studio album by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Just Coolin’, on 17 July. It was recorded on 8 March 1959 in the Hackensack, New Jersey studio of feted recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder.

Blakey was joined on the session by a short-lived line-up of the Jazz Messengers that also featured Lee Morgan on trumpet, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, pianist Bobby Timmons and bassist Jymie Merritt. The opening track from the LP, ‘Hipsippy Blues,’ is now available to stream or download. Just Coolin’ can be pre-ordered now in a variety of formats: CD, digital download, and an all-analog 180 gram vinyl pressing mastered by Kevin Gray.

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – First Flight To Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – First Flight To Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 01:43:04 minutes | 3,28 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records

In 1961, Art Blakey did his first tour of Japan with his then-current lineup of the Jazz Messengers. It was a young crew of players—Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons, and Jymie Merritt were all in their early 20s, while Blakey was comparatively an elder statesman at 42—and the group only been together for a little more than a year with just two albums (The Big Beat and A Night in Tunisia) under their belt. This two-week tour could have been a straight cash grab, with Blakey and the band giving jazz-starved Japanese audiences a well-mannered and highly competent run through a collection of straight-ahead bop standards. It quickly became clear that—thanks to the enthusiastic reactions of crowds at every single tour stop—they had considerable license to let things rip. And indeed they did. The engaged energy of the crowd fed the players on stage and the result was, as documented on this previously unreleased recording from a Tokyo concert at the end of the tour, some near-electric performances. Instead of acting like ambassadors, the band here is acting more like explorers, taking the crowds’ deep and informed affection for jazz as a license to walk with them into some new terrain that was truly transitioning from the bop era. This set opens with a rambling, jaunty version of Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time” that goes on for 20-plus minutes. Far from a hoary old chestnut being brought out to warm up the audience, it kicks off the show with a lengthy and intense solo from Blakey that is followed up with some expansive and exploratory interplay between Shorter and Morgan. The tone is set for the rest of the show, which runs a warm, but inquisitive vibe through a number of standards. Timmons’ piano work shines so brightly on “‘Round About Midnight,” as one would expect, but near the last third, his keyboard work gives way to some near-cosmic playing from Morgan that totally reshapes the character of Monk’s standard. There’s a great balance in the set between solos and communicative group improvisation, but there’s no mistake that Blakey is the leader, as he not only clocks the most spotlight time, but also provides the necessary bridge between jazz’s past and future. And while he’s obviously not digging into the same vibes he would in the late ’60s and early ’70s with albums like Roots and Herbs and The Witch Doctor, it’s also clearly a few evolutionary clicks beyond the Messengers’ name-making work from the late ’50s. Worth noting: although the sound quality here is not quite audiophile-level (it’s a little thin in places, especially—and unfortunately—on low end/percussion), for a “found” recording, the fidelity is nonetheless rich and transportive. – Jason Ferguson

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk (1958/2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk (1958/2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 44:31 minutes | 739 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Rhino Atlantic

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk is a studio album released in 1958 by Atlantic Records. It is a collaboration between the Jazz Messengers, the group led by drummer Art Blakey, and Thelonious Monk on piano.

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers (1961/2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers (1961/2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 38:00 minutes | 1,56 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © The Verve Music Group

Highly regarded amongst critics, Art Blakey revolutionized the jazz scene, paving the way for those he mentored. Captured at a pivotal moment in the ensemble’s history, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers is a full display of the group’s undeniable chemistry. Blakey is joined by jazz legends, Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone), Lee Morgan (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Bobby Timmons (piano) and Jymie Merritt (bass). With Blakey’s prominent drumming, the group performs classics including the hard swinging number “Alamode,” the standard “Invitation” and the lively “Circus.” This is essential listening for any music fan.

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers (1961/2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers (1961/2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 38:00 minutes | 880 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © The Verve Music Group

Highly regarded amongst critics, Art Blakey revolutionized the jazz scene, paving the way for those he mentored. Captured at a pivotal moment in the ensemble’s history, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers is a full display of the group’s undeniable chemistry. Blakey is joined by jazz legends, Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone), Lee Morgan (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Bobby Timmons (piano) and Jymie Merritt (bass). With Blakey’s prominent drumming, the group performs classics including the hard swinging number “Alamode,” the standard “Invitation” and the lively “Circus.” This is essential listening for any music fan.

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – A Night In Tunisia (Live At Hibiya Public Hall, Tokyo, Japan 1-14-61) (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – A Night In Tunisia (Live At Hibiya Public Hall, Tokyo, Japan 1-14-61) (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 11:11 minutes | 371 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records

On December 10, Blue Note Records will release First Flight to Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings, a thrilling previously unreleased live recording of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers captured at Hibiya Public Hall in Tokyo on January 14, 1961 during the band’s first-ever tour of Japan. The Jazz Messengers were among the first modern jazz groups to tour the country, and adoring Japanese audiences were enthralled by one of the band’s all-time great line-ups featuring the legendary drummer with Lee Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Bobby Timmons on piano, and Jymie Merritt on bass. The concert featured soaring performances of well-known jazz staples including Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night In Tunisia,” Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time,” Thelonious Monk’s “’Round About Midnight,” and Jazz Messenger hits including “Blues March,” “Dat Dere,” and “Moanin’.”

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – A Night In Tunisia (1960/2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – A Night In Tunisia (1960/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 37:51 minutes | 1,52 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records

Recorded August 7 (tracks 2 and 4) and 14 (tracks 1, 3 and 5), 1960 in Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Originally issued as Blue Note BLP 4049

“In preparing these hi def remasters, we were very conscientious about maintaining the feel of the original releases while adding a previously unattainable transparency and depth. It now sounds like you’ve set up your chaise lounge right in the middle of Rudy Van Gelder’s studio!” – Blue NotePresident, Don Was.

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