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07 April 2022

Deluxe Edition Of ‘Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk’ Due Out In May

Art Blakey Jazz Messengers
Photo: Heritage Image Partnership/Alamy Stock Photo
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A new anniversary edition of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk is set for release on 20 May. The music will include a selection of previously unreleased outtakes. Prior to this, in March, new anniversary editions of incredible albums by Charles Mingus (Mingus Three) and John Coltrane (My Favorite Things) were announced.

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk (Deluxe Edition) will be released as a double-LP set on 180-gram vinyl and a double-CD. The music will also be available from digital and streaming services on the same day.

The vinyl version comes in a replica of the original sleeve, which features photos from the era, including the cover art taken by Lee Friedlander, an award-winning photographer renowned for the portraits of jazz artists he took for Atlantic Records in the 1950s. The CD and LP versions of the deluxe edition include a newly remastered version of the 1958 album, plus unreleased outtakes on disc two.

On May 14 and 15, 1957, Thelonious Monk sat in with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers to record a one-off album for Atlantic Records; Monk’s lone appearance on the label. It was also his only recording with the Jazz Messengers, an ever-evolving collective led by drummer Art Blakey, who’s joined on the album by Johnny Griffin on tenor saxophone, Bill Hardman on trumpet, and bassist Spanky DeBrest.

Monk and Blakey frequently recorded together in the decade leading up to the 1957 sessions produced by Nesuhi Ertegun and recorded at Capitol Studios in New York. That bond makes the album a true meeting of the minds, a beautiful union of Monk’s melodies with Blakey’s unshakable sense of swing on stellar versions of Monk originals like In Walked Bud, I Mean You, and Blue Monk.

An illustrated booklet comes with the collection and features liner notes by music historian, journalist and producer Ashley Khan. His writing provides historical context about the artists and insightful commentary about their art. He notes: “Riverside’s Brilliant Corners and Monk’s Music are inarguably classic recordings from the same 1956-’57 period. Yet they were more about studio craft and introducing new material. Atlantic’s Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk was also a studio effort, yet it bristles as a blowing session should, pulsing with a giddy, anything-can-happen energy.”

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk (Deluxe Edition)

LP/CD Track Listing:

In Walked Bud
Blue Monk
I Mean You
Purple Shades
Evidence Take 2
In Walked Bud Take 2
Blue Monk Take 9
I Mean You Take 3
Rhythm-A-Ning Take 2
Purple Shades Take 4

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