Art Blakey Percussion Ensemble and The Jazz Messengers - Drum Suite (Mono)
Art Blakey Percussion Ensemble and The Jazz Messengers - Drum Suite (Mono)
Art Blakey Percussion Ensemble and The Jazz Messengers - Drum Suite (Mono)
Art Blakey Percussion Ensemble and The Jazz Messengers - Drum Suite (Mono)

Art Blakey Percussion Ensemble and The Jazz Messengers - Drum Suite (Mono)

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Art Blakey - drums [click here to see more vinyl featuring Art Blakey]

Ray Bryant (A1–3) - piano [click here to see more vinyl featuring Ray Bryant]

Oscar Pettiford - bass, cello (A1–3)

Candido Camero, Sabu Martinez - bongos (A1–3)

Jo Jones - drums (A1–3)

Sam Dockery (B1-3) - piano

Spanky DeBrest (B1-3) - bass

The Jazz Messengers: [click here to see more vinyl featuring The Jazz Messengers]

Bill Hardman (B1-3)- trumpet

Jackie McLean - alto saxophone (B1-3)

Charles "Specs" Wright - drums, timpani, gong (A1–3)

1 LP, standard sleeve

Original analog Master tape : YES

Heavy Press : 180g

Record color : black

Speed : 33RPM

Size : 12”



Record Press : RTI

Label : Impex Records

Original Label : Columbia

Recorded at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York on December 13, 1956 (B1-3), February 22, 1957 (A1-3)

Remastered by Kevin Gray and Robert Pincus

Originally released in 1957

Reissued in 2014



Side A :

  1. The Sacrifice
  2. Cubono Chant
  3. Oscalypso


Side B :

  1. Nica's Tempo
  2. D's Dilemma
  3. Just For Marty


Reviews :

"Recorded in 1956, Art Blakey's Drum Suite is a wonderful hybrid of African, Latin, and hard bop rhythms that prefigures the concept of Afro-beat by at least a decade, and the sheer energy, not to mention its very special and fresh-sounding intimacy, make it especially astounding. Even more amazing is that the three parts of the suite -- Blakey's "The Sacrifice," Ray Bryant's "Cubano Chant," and Oscar Pettiford's "Oscalypso" -- were recorded straight through live, and were only intended to be a pre-take run-through, but as is obvious here, Blakey and company nailed the whole thing right out of the box. The original LP was issued by Columbia with the drum suite on one side, and three tracks recorded by a 1956 version of the Jazz Messengers (Bill Hardman, Jackie McLean, Sam Dockery, and Spanky DeBrest) for Blakey's first Columbia album, Hard Bop, on the other side. Groundbreaking for its time, and still sounding vital, powerful, and visionary, the Drum Suite album is somewhat of a lost masterpiece that deserves a fresh audience." AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett


"Art Blakey's first release for Columbia Records is essentially two records. Side one is a percussion ensemble playing what would, ten years later, be called Afro-Cuban drumming. Side two is the mid-fifties version of the Jazz Messengers featuring Jackie McLean on saxophone. Side one features Blakey, Jo Jones and Charles Wright on drums, Candido and Sabu on bongos, and Oscar Pettiford and bass and cello. The group plays three compositions, one by Blakey, one by Pettiford and one by Ray Bryant, fusing African, Cuban, and calypso percussion into a well-integrated suite.

"The group recorded a run through and it was so perfectly executed that they used the practice run for the release, unedited except to add some Swahili chants by the percussionists during a few passages. One cannot help but think of Olantunji's Drums of Passion, another Afro drumming landmark, here. Blakey's drum suite was recorded at Columbia's 30th Street studios in New York in 1957 and is in mono. The almost stereoscopic image is truly remarkable. Mastered by Kevin Gray and pressed at RTI, Drum Suite is a valuable record of one of the most important figures in jazz history." Dennis Davis, Hifi+

"...The three-part suite was laid down in one take with no arrangements, and begins with a few tympani thwacks followed by an African chant. Soon the ensemble kicks in and the group takes off an a sweaty Afro-Cuban-bop journey that will leave you breathless, as the thing crackles with terrific energy. Side Two is more conventional hard bop, but given this group's mastery of if not invention of the style, these tracks are extremely satisfying. Kevin Gray's remastering is detailed and immediate, with plenty of bit and air, if not the widest dynamic range. For anyone interested in percussion of this genre, this is not to be missed." - Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound


Ratings :

AllMusic : 4 / 5 , Discogs : 4,32 / 5  ,  Hifi+ : Recording: 9/10. Music 9/10

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