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!
The brainchild of Art Blakey and Blue Note producer Alfred Lion, Orgy in Rhythm Vol.1&2 is a milestone in recorded jazz. Blakey gathered together some of the best jazz drummers and Latin percussionists around for an improvised session in 1957. To this he added renowned flautist Herbie Mann, pianist Ray Bryant and bassist Wendall Marshall for melodic and harmonic support. Make no mistake, however–the focus here is exactly what the title suggests. This is a percussion extravaganza that pushes the drums to the forefront as in the traditional African music that formed the roots of jazz.
Long, hypnotic grooves, wailing chants and grounding bass tones support extended solos by Blakey, Arthur Taylor, Jo Jones and percussionist Sabu. While billed as Blakey’s record, it was certainly a collective effort that brought his rhythmic collages to life. The difficulty in recording such a large ensemble of percussion instruments fell to legendary engineer Rudy Van Gelder, who did a commendable job here; the enormity of the sound must be heard to be believed. Highlight tracks include the wailing “Buhaina Chant,” the expressive “Elephant Walk” and the stunning drum set feature “Split Skins.”
Personnel: Art Blakey (drums); Ray Bryant (piano), Jo Jones (drums); Herbie Mann (flute); Wendell Marshall (bass); Ubaldo Nieto (timbales); Evilio Quintero (cencerro, marcas); Art Taylor (drums); Carlos Valdes (congas); Specs Wright (drums, timpani); Sabu (bongos, timbani).
Rappamelo’s favorite track: