All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

463

Art Blakey: Holiday for Skins

By

Sign in to view read count
Holiday for Skins is not totally unique in drummer Art Blakey's output, as the drummer was most famous for some of the greatest hard bop era records ever made with his Jazz Messengers. Though not a Jazz Messengers recording, this original double volume definitely has Blakey's strong personal, percussive stamp. The cover states this is "a message from Blakey and that message is mostly about rhythm and the vast expressive possibilities of the drum sets, congas, bongos, timbales and other percussion instruments.

The opening track, "Feast, starts with a single conga drum slowly sounding single notes with a vocal call (by which musician, though, who knows?). The single voice receives a response from a chorus of men (including Philly Joe Jones and the leader himself) before launching into an Afro/Cuban groove over which trumpeter Donald Byrd sails eloquent melodic statements. Ray Bryant's piano solo follows and it is both burning and rock solid with the groove. About four-and-a-half minutes into "Feast Blakey starts one of his great solos that, though loud and explosive, is clearly in dialogue with the drum choir. The track comes full circle to the slowly beating solo conga drum and vocal call and response. However, what is the meaning of the chants? Are they traditional? Original? Are these Blakey's arrangements? Which conga player is soloing in what tune? The liner notes offer a nice glimpse into Blakey's personality, but leave a lot of basic, musically appropriate questions unanswered.

On "Mirage, a very cool tune by Blakey, we get to hear Philly Joe step into the spotlight on drum set. It begins with a bongo obbligato soon giving way to a Bryant vamp that tells you this tune is going to burn. Byrd plays the simple theme and then launches into a skillful solo that provides some of this project's most exciting moments. "Reflection, a Bryant original—which, coincidentally also makes an appearance on another great percussionist's recording, We Three (OJC, 1958), by Roy Haynes—appropriately closes the CD.


Track Listing: The Feast; Aghano; Lament Africano; Mirage; O

Personnel: Art Blakey: drums; Philly Joe Jones: drums, tympani; Art Taylor: drums, gong; Sabu Martinez: bongos, congas; Ray Barretto, Chonguito Vicente: congas; Victor Gonzalez: bongos; Andy Delannoy: maracas, cencerro; Julio Martinez: congas, tree log; Fred Pagan Jr: timbales; Donald Byrd: trumpet; Ray Bryant: piano; Wendell Marshall: bass; Blakey, Jones, Martinez, Austin Cromer, Hal Rasheed: chants.

Title: Holiday for Skins | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read SuperClusters CD/LP/Track Review
SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Your Queen Is A Reptile CD/LP/Track Review
Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Melodious Drum CD/LP/Track Review
Melodious Drum
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 21, 2018
Read The Speed of Dark CD/LP/Track Review
The Speed of Dark
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "New Life" CD/LP/Track Review New Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Rímur" CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 15, 2017
Read "Out Of Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Home Counties" CD/LP/Track Review Home Counties
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Overneath" CD/LP/Track Review Overneath
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2018
Read "The Ultimate Experience" CD/LP/Track Review The Ultimate Experience
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 10, 2017