Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Buhaina’s Delight

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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).

Tracklist

01. Backstage Sally
02. Contemplation
03. Bu’s Delight
04. Reincarnation Blues
05. Shaky Jake
06. Moon River
07. Backstage Sally (Alternate Version)
08. Bu’s Delight (Alternate Version)
09. Reincarnation Blues (Alternate Version)
10. Moon River (Alternate Take)

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