06 January, 2012

Art Blakey - At The Cafe Bohemia v1-2 (1955) (RVG)

Art Blakey - At The Cafe Bohemia v1-2 (1955)
jazz | 1+1cd | eac-flac-cue-log-cover | 330+335MB
Blue Note | RVG 24-bit remaster 2001
The third edition of Art Blakey's early period Jazz Messengers, after the departure of Donald Byrd and briefly Clifford Brown, welcomed trumpeter Kenny Dorham to the fray, and he was an important component matched with tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, bassist Doug Watkins, and pianist Horace Silver. This first volume of live performance from the Cafe Bohemia in New York City circa late 1955 is a rousing set of hard bop by the masters that signified its sound, and expanded on the language of modern jazz. There are three bonus CD tracks not on the original LP that further emphasize not only the inherent power of Blakey's band and drumming, but demarcate the simplicity of melodic statements that were a springboard for the fantastic soloing by these individuals that would follow those tuneful lines. Dorham is responsible for this edict, as he contributes three of the selections, including the staccato-accented melody of "Minor's Holiday" primed by a thumping intro via Blakey, "Prince Albert" with its by now classic and clever reharmonization of "All the Things You Are," and the perennial closer of every set "The Theme," with its brief repeat melody and powerhouse triple-time bop break. Mobley wrote the scattered melody of "Deciphering the Message," heard here at length for the first time, although it was later available in its original shortened studio form on the reissued Columbia CD Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers. The tenor man gets his feature on the quarter-speed slowed ballad version of "Alone Together," which altogether sounds pining and blue to the nth degree. Standards like Fletcher Henderson's "Soft Winds" seemed merely a simple and lengthy warmup tune, but Tadd Dameron's "Lady Bird" is an absolute workout, with variations abounding on the intro, first and second run-throughs of the melody, and some harmonic twists. Watkins is featured on the lead line of "What's New?" which again combines melancholy with that slightest spark of hope. If this is indeed in chronological order as a first set from the November 13, 1955 performances, it whets the whistle and leaves the listener wanting more, knowing the best is yet to come.
Volume deux of the 1955 Cafe Bohemia sessions from Art Blakey's second edition Jazz Messengers is better than the first. The music is more energetic, cohesive, and pushes the hard bop farther. Where the first volume featured compositions of newly recruited trumpeter Kenny Dorham, it is tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley asserting himself on the bandstand with his set pieces that formed the foundation of the first studio edition of the quintet that included Donald Byrd. Here, Mobley does not defer to Dorham, pushing his sound forward without compromising his vision. "Sportin' Crowd" is definitely an ear opener, a straight-ahead, hard bop gem based on the changes of the Sonny Rollins' classic "Tenor Madness." A live version of "Hank's Symphony" -- recapitulated from the studio version on the original Jazz Messengers' LP for the Columbia label -- has an Asian and calypso flair with many accented notes and a secondary melody. The killer track is Mobley's "Avila & Tequila," drenched in Blakey's churning Afro-Cuban beats, filled with multiple modal devices especially from Horace Silver, and charges ahead as if there was no tomorrow -- a truly memorable and vital performance. The other tracks may seem to pale by comparison, but the easy, bluesy "Like Someone in Love," a short ballad version of "Yesterdays" finally featuring trumpeter Dorham, and Mobley's luscious tenor during the ultimate tearjerker "I Waited for You" offer stark contrast while losing no internal intensity. It is on "Just One of Those Things" where the band really straightens up and convenes in tandem, a solid cohesion where Dorham and Mobley work like an effortless, major league shortstop and second base double-play combination. "Gone with the Wind" finishes this set in soulful, legato, dispassionate refrains. This is a more consistent effort than the first volume, with a much anticipated, late-night set still on the horizon.

-1. Announcement by Art Blakey 1:32
-2. "Soft Winds" 12:34
-3. "The Theme" 6:11
-4. "Minor's Holiday" 9:11
-5. "Alone Together" 4:15
-6. "Prince Albert" 8:51
-7. "Lady Bird" (reissue bonus track) 7:30
-8. "What's New?" (reissue bonus track) 4:31
-9. "Deciphering the Message" (reissue bonus track) 10:13
-1. Announcement by Art Blakey 0:37
-2. "Sportin' Crowd" 6:53
-3. "Like Someone in Love" 9:15
-4. "Yesterdays"  4:18
-5. "Avila and Tequila" 12:46
-6. ""I Waited for You"  9:47
-7. "Just One Of Those Things" -9:27
-8. "Hank's Symphony" 4:43
-9. "Gone with the Wind" 7:27

* Art Blakey — drums
* Horace Silver — piano
* Kenny Dorham — trumpet
* Hank Mobley — saxophone (tenor)
* Doug Watkins — bass


durmoll said...

log & linx:
p: lworld
READ IT! (about old publications):

henrique said...

Hi man, the part 4 vol.1 is missing !!! Can you post it ? this album is amazing !!!! Please....


Website counter