Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Mosaic (1961/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz
Artist: Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Modal
Label: © Blue Note Records
Release Date: 1961 (BLP 4090/BST 84090)/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Recorded: October 2, 1961 at at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
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.
This is the one that started it: Mosaic, recorded in 1961, was the first recording of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers as a sextet, a setting he kept from 1961-1964. The band's front line was trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, trombonist Curtis Fuller, and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter; Cedar Walton played piano and Jymie Merritt (a criminally underappreciated talent) was the bassist. Everything on this set was written by the musicians in the band. Walton wrote the burning title track; its blazing tempo and Eastern modes were uncharacteristic of the Jazz Messengers sound, but it swings like mad. Hubbard contributed two pieces to the album, the first of which is the groover "Down Under," with its blues gospel feel. The bandmembers dig their teeth into this one, carrying the blues theme to the breaking point as Hubbard fills in between. But the horn charts are so sharp, so utterly devoid of excess, that they won't let the listener go. Shorter's "Children of the Night" is a fine example of the tunes he would compose for the Miles Davis Quintet a bit later. While it's a hard bop swinger to be sure, his use of modality and counterpoint between the soloist and the front line is exemplary and his solo bites hard and fast as he tears up and down the registers of the horn. Fuller's "Arabia" is a basic blues groover, and the playing is inspired throughout. The disc closes with Hubbard's "Crisis," which opens with Merritt and Blakey ushering in the rest of the band. Walton first plays a repetitive minor-key riff. When the horns enter, Walton keeps the theme, Merritt moves over a bit to dig in between the lines, and Blakey keeps it all anchored because in this tune rhythm is everything. Hubbard was in many ways a soul-jazz composer before there was such a thing, and the motifs in this tune prove it -- as does his beautiful blowing in his solo. This is a fine recording and should be owned by any Blakey fan. --Thom Jurek, AllMusic
1 Moasic 8:11
2 Down Under 5:26
3 Children Of The Night 8:47
4 Arabia 9:08
5 Crisis 8:33
Art Blakey - drums
Wayne Shorter - tenor saxophone
Freddie Hubbard - trumpet
Curtis Fuller - trombone
Cedar Walton - piano
Jymie Merritt - bass
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