Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: Drum Suite (2005)
With this reissue come several bonus tracks that had appeared on Originally in 1981, one alternate take, and a full version of "The Sacrifice" that wasn't previously issued. The original liner notes from Drum Suite are included, as well as updated notes by Kenny Washington and a booklet with fourteen photos of the artists.
As a leader, Blakey gave the world soulful hard bop jazz to remember. "Nica's Tempo," for example, begins with his drum solo and transitions into a beautiful up-tempo drive that remains propelled by sparks of "electricity." There was always a vibrant force behind his projects.
"D's Dilemma" feature's Blakey's cascading snare drum pitches, and he applies pressure to the head accordingly. Donald Byrd and Ira Sullivan give "L'il" a light, driving force that showcases Blakey's use of varied textures in order to communicate his ideas. Their cohesive interplay results in a supple hard bop interpretation that overflows with excitement. Both takes of "The New Message" flow with soulful impressions and a light, rhythmic zeal. Blakey's positive outlook always shone through, as he led by example and brought out the best in everyone who served in his army of jazz volunteers.
Track Listing: The Sacrifice; Cubano Chant; Oscalypso; Nica's Tempo; D's Dilemma; Just for Marty; L'il; The New Message.
Personnel: Art Blakey, Jo Jones: drums; Specs Wright: drums, tympani, gong, vocals; Sabu Martinez: bongos, congas, percussion, vocals; Candido Camero: congas, percussion, vocals, bass on "Oscalypso;" Ray Bryant, Sam Dockery, Kenny Drew: piano; Wilbur Ware, Oscar Pettiford, Spanky DeBrest: bass; Donald Byrd, Bill Hardman: trumpet; Jackie McLean: alto saxophone; Ira Sullivan: tenor saxophone.
Record Label: Sony BMG Legacy