Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers – Live In Zurich 1958 – Past Daily Downbeat
Art Blakey this weekend. A concert recorded in Zurich Switzerland on December 4, 1958 and broadcast by Swiss Radio.
A few well-chosen words from The Estate Of Art Blakey website:
Art’s driving rhythms and his incessant two and four beat on the high hat cymbals were readily identifiable from the outset and remained a constant throughout 35 years of Jazz Messengers bands. What changed constantly was a seeming unending supply of talented sidemen, many of whom went on to become band leaders in their own right.
In the early years luminaries like Clifford Brown, Hank Mobley and Jackie McLean rounded out the band. In 1959, tenor saxophonist Benny Golson joined the quintet and — at Art’s behest — began working on the songbook and recruiting what became one of the timeless Messenger bands — tenor saxman Wayne Shorter, trumpeter Lee Morgan, pianist Bobby Timmons and bassist Jymmie Merritt.
The songs produced from ’59 through the early ’60s became trademarks for the Messengers — including Timmon’s Moanin’, Golson’s Along Came Betty and Blues March and Shorter’s Ping Pong.
By this time, the Messengers had become a mainstay on the jazz club circuit and began recording on Blue Note Records. They began touring Europe, with forays into North Africa. In 1960, the Messengers became the first American Jazz band to play in Japan for Japanese audiences. That first Japanese tour was a high point for the band. At the Tokyo airport, the band was greeted by hundreds of fans as Blues March played over their airport intercom and their visit was televised nationally.
This concert most likely marks some of the first appearances of Benny Golson, who was to become a mainstay with the band for quite a while after.
Considering the insanity of the week – and the loudness that’s been attached to it, this excursion to the world of Cool, Calm, Collected is a lifesaver right about now.
Crank it up, relax and enjoy.