everybodydigs#109 Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Buhaina’s Delight


everybodydigs# is a series of posts about Jazz, Funk, Soul & R’n’b albums released from the 20s to the 90s, you can read a brief description/review and listen to a small preview (when it’s possible). everybodydigs# is like when someone tells you “hey you should listen to this album!” and nothing less, enjoy!

When Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers expanded to a sextet with the addition of Curtis Fuller on trombone, the group took on the character of a small big band propelled by Blakey’s forceful drumming. Buhaina’s Delight, another session in the long line of great Blue Note dates from this period, displays that classic line-up in pristine form. With Freddie Hubbard replacing Lee Morgan, Cedar Walton replacing Bobby Timmons and musical director Wayne Shorter, the Messengers were full of fresh sounds and vibrant with energy.

Uncharacteristically for a Messengers session, the relaxed shuffle “Backstage Sally” opens the disc in a laid back groove. Shorter’s brilliant playing is featured prominently on this session on the delicate ballad “Contemplation” and many stunning solo spots. The title track (dubbed for Blakey’s Islamic name, Buhaina) and a dynamic arrangement of the standard “Moon River” are excellent examples of the classic Messengers sound: challenging horn arrangements, expressive soloing and assertive drumming by the leader. Also included on this set are bonus takes of all but two of the original tunes. For any Messengers fan, this is a delightful package, indeed.

Personnel: Art Blakey (drums); Jymie Merritt (bass instrument); Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Cedar Walton (piano).

Rappamelo’s favorite track:


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