The Big Beat
02. Sakeena's Vision
04. Dat Dere
05. Lester Left Town
06. It's Only A Paper Moon
Bass – Jymie Merritt
Drums – Art Blakey
Piano – Bobby Timmons
Tenor Saxophone – Wayne Shorter
Trumpet – Lee Morgan
Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter performs by courtesy of Vee Jay Records.
Bobby Timmons performs by courtesy of Riverside Records.
Recorded on March 6, 1960.
Perhaps the best known and most loved of Art Blakey's works, The Big Beat is a testament to the creative progress of one of the best jazz drummers of all time. Now over 40 years old, The Big Beat is as thunderous as ever. Here, Blakey combines his rhythm with tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter's brilliant composing to make what could only be termed a "structurally raw" album. Each track rips through bebop as quickly as Blakey ripped through drum heads. "Dat Dere" and "Lester Left Town" stand out as part of the true canons for hot jazz. Two alternate versions of "It's Only a Paper Moon" round out the album, both brimming with the fluid integrity of the song and the drive only Blakey could provide. As one of the few drummers to step out and lead, not just play backup, Blakey created a true jazz treasure in The Big Beat.
Drummer Art Blakey has recorded some great bebop albums in his day and this one is one them.
Joining Blakey on his trip down Splash Mountain are Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Lee Morgan on trumpet, Bobby Timmons on piano, Jymie Merritt on bass, and of course Blakey on drums.
This album was recorded almost around the same time as "Moanin'" which features one of the hottest lineups of the Messengers' long history. Every song on this album is swinging like crazy and has strong melodies and great improvisations. This album features two of my favorite Messengers' tunes "Dat Dere" and "Sakeena's Vision."
If you're just getting into Art Blakey, then start with this album. If you enjoy good 60s bebop then buy this album.
The remastering of this album is very well done. It sounds great for 1960. It sounds like it's been cleaned up and that's always good thing.
Other great Messengers' albums "A Night in Tunisia," "Moanin," "Caravan," "Ugetsu," "Mosaic" and "Free For All," which features one of the most aggressive Blakey performances ever.