577

Art Blakey and the Giants of Jazz: Live at the 1972 Monterey Jazz Festival

By

Sign in to view read count
Art Blakey and the Giants of Jazz: Live at the 1972 Monterey Jazz Festival The Giants of Jazz was an all-star band assembled by promoter George Wein in 1971. While Dizzy and Monk were the most celebrated members, the band also included Art Blakey (drums), Sonny Stitt (sax), Kai Winding (trombone) and Al McKibbon (bass).

By the time it arrived at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September of 1972, Gillespie had to absent himself to return to his own band and the group had inspired substitutions in the trumpet chair—here both Clark Terry and Roy Eldridge are present. While Eldridge was a Swing Era star, the the style practiced is a classic mainstream spanning late swing and early bop. Each of the horns get a ballad feature and each is a masterpiece of melodic improvisation: Terry's lustrous and barely accompanied "Stardust"; Winding's "Lover Man" with its warm cadenza; the sudden burst of Bird-inspired alto in Stitt's "I Can't Get Started" and Eldridge's "The Man I Love," all burnished brass and scorching highs. There are three up-tempo blowing tunes: Juan Tizol's "Perdido" (which favors the Ellingtonian in Terry) and two composed by the absent Gillespie, the opening "Blue 'n' Boogie" and the flag-waving conclusion (and Blakey anthem) "A Night in Tunisia." It's superb music-making, driven as much by camaraderie as competition (the latter quality one for which Eldridge and Stitt might be equally celebrated).

Monk, who would perform little after this, is in great form, turning in a beautiful "'Round Midnight" and comping with his usual rhythmic acuity. He combines with Blakey and McKibbon to provide drive and authority. Blakey is thunderous and there's little sense of a mere string of solos here. It's a real band with an enthused and slightly ragged vitality to the theme statements and occasional backing riffs, a combination of excitement and familiarity that could only be achieved by the best musicians saturated in their material. It might be the "Twilight of the Gods," but the musicians don't seem to know it.


Track Listing: Introduction by Jimmy Lyons; Blue 'n' Boogie; 'Round Midnight; Perdido; Stardust; Lover Man; I Can't Get Started with You; The Man I Love; A Night in Tunisia.

Personnel: Art Blakey: drums; Sonny Stitt: alto and tenor saxophones; Roy Eldridge: trumpet; Clark Terry: trumpet and flugelhorn; Kai Winding: trombone; Thelonious Monk: piano; Al McKibbon: bass.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Monterey Jazz Festival Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Guess Who I Saw Today" CD/LP/Track Review Guess Who I Saw Today
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "A Moment In Time" CD/LP/Track Review A Moment In Time
by James Nadal
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "In Layers" CD/LP/Track Review In Layers
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Live At Umbria Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Umbria Jazz
by James Nadal
Published: March 9, 2016
Read "Niechęć" CD/LP/Track Review Niechęć
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!