Caravan [Keepnews Collection]

Caravan [Keepnews Collection]

by Art Blakey & the Jazz MessengersArt Blakey & the Jazz Messengers

CD(Remastered / Bonus Tracks)

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Overview

By the time that jazz icon/bandleader/percussionist Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers began recording for Riverside in the fall of 1962, Blakey had already been the spiritual center of the group for nearly 15 years. The unprecedented caliber of performers who had already passed through the revolving-door personnel reads like a who's who of 20th century jazz. On Caravan -- his first of several notable sides for the venerable label -- he is joined by a quintet of concurrent and future all-stars. Likewise, it could be argued that each has never again been presented in such a fresh or inspired setting as on these recordings. In order to establish with any authority just how heavy (even for purveyors of hard bop) the players in this band are, they need only to be named: Curtis Fuller (trombone), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Cedar Walton (piano), and Reggie Workman (bass). With Blakey (drums) firmly at the helm, these Jazz Messengers deliver a scintillating synergy that doesn't sacrifice intensity for the sake of cadence. The trademark give-and-take that graces the laid-back and sophisticated pop and jazz standards "Skylark" and "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" likewise is responsible for the palpable energy brought to the sizeable contributions from Shorter and Hubbard -- which make up half of the album's material. The title and leadoff track liquefies Duke Ellington's original arrangement and ignites it, fueling this extended fiery interpretation. Hubbard's first solo harks back to his own recording of "Caravan," which can be heard on the Impulse release Artistry of Freddie Hubbard and was recorded earlier the same year. Coincidentally, that disc also features Curtis Fuller as well as a rare non-Sun Ra-related appearance from John Gilmore (tenor sax). Blow for blow, however, this reading has more than just an edge -- it possesses the entire blade. The melody snakes in and out of Blakey's strident flurry of syncopation. Another highlight is Shorter's interjectory solo, recalling his ability to succeed John Coltrane in Miles Davis' coterie. Among the original compositions, Shorter's upbeat "Sweet 'n' Sour" stands out as the most cohesive and ensemble-driven, although the singular group dynamic is well applied to the lively "This Is for Albert" as well. By contrast, Hubbard's "Thermo" is more angular -- taking full advantage of the musicians' aggressive chops. The 2001 20-bit remaster from Fantasy contains two bonus tracks: take four of "Sweet 'n' Sour" and take two of "Thermo." This release can be considered definitive Blakey, bop, and Jazz Messengers.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/05/2007
Label: Riverside
UPC: 0888072301870
catalogNumber: 30187

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers   Primary Artist
Curtis Fuller   Trombone
Wayne Shorter   Tenor Saxophone
Cedar Walton   Piano
Art Blakey   Drums
Freddie Hubbard   Trumpet
Reggie Workman   Bass

Technical Credits

Hoagy Carmichael   Composer
David Mann   Composer
Wayne Shorter   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Ray Fowler   Engineer
Ira Gitler   Liner Notes
Freddie Hubbard   Composer
Orrin Keepnews   Producer,Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Audio Production
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Juan Tizol   Composer
Chuck Stewart   Cover Photo
Joe Tarantino   Annotation
Ken Deardoff   Cover Design
Larissa Collins   Art Direction

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