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Free for All Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, August 10, 2004
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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Free For All (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) [2004 - Remaster]11:09Album Only
listen  2. Hammer Head (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) [2004 - Remaster] 7:50Album Only
listen  3. The Core (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) [2004 - Remaster] 9:25Album Only
listen  4. Pensativa (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) [2004 - Remaster] 8:22Album Only

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 10, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B0002KQNZO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,964 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
One of the greatest recordings--jazz or otherwise--ever made.
The Groove
This tune keeps the energy of before but the intensity level backs off and it's the perfect close to a great album.
Michael Hardin
Wayne Shorter's opening tenor saxophone solo absolutely shreds!
Andrew Stevenson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Stevenson on August 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If aliens from another galaxy landed on earth and asked me "what is hard bop jazz?" I would hand them this CD. It is arguably one of the two best efforts by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (the other is titled Indestructible).....and that's saying something! When the title cut was recorded it must have melted down Rudy Van Gelder's studio. Wayne Shorter's opening tenor saxophone solo absolutely shreds! If you listen closely you can hear his bandmates cheering him on.....and keep in mind this was recorded in a studio. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and trombonist Curtis Fuller are also on fire. During Blakey's drum solo he lets out a loud moan as if there was so much emotion even his drums couldn't express it. The rest of the album is also top notch! If you can own only one Art Blakey CD make it this one. If you can own only two make the other one "Indestructible."
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hardin on March 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
In 1964 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers stepped into Rudy van Gelder's studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and probably melted the inside of the building. With great material and truly special inspiration, they created a record of the most uncompromising, in-your-face hard bop recorded to date. Musical director Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone contributes two high energy originals and probably the best playing of his five year Messengers tenure, Freddie Hubbard contributes the other two tunes, one original and one arrangement, and also blows his brains out on trumpet, Curtis Fuller adds a rich third voice and some great trombone playing, Cedar Walton plays some great and tasteful piano, both in accompaniment and solo, Reggie Workman really pushes the sound of the band into a more advanced rhythmic feel, and Art Blakey of course plays like a man on fire, creating volcanic energy that kicks the band up to a superhuman level. Fine, this description may sound like Leonard Feather-esque hype, but it's really not. This album is incredible.

The whole album is great but there are two standout tracks. The first is the eleven minute title track. A perfectly formed Wayne Shorter original, it is voiced in rich three part harmony over an insistent rhythmic figure (though not rigid--Reggie Workman's embellishments and displacement of time makes it a very free-flowing feel) and a bridge whose release and buildup of tension sounds a lot like a train getting closer. The solos from the horns and Blakey are very intense and Shorter and Hubbard shred in particular. The high energy level is maintained throughout this tune, then the next two are almost as intense ("Hammerhead" drops the tempo without losing any of the energy) before culminating in the perfectly placed "Pensativa.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By James A. Pantano on August 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
the first time i heard the jazz messengers i was in my car listening to some public radio jazz show. a minute into the tune "free for all" and i began to stare at the radio in disbelief. i actually became nervous because the song i was hearing was so great i was sure that the dj would not bother to mention who i was hearing or would mumble something incoherent like, that was owhiubuigwugw. add into the mix my wife and three kids along for the ride, were all babling away. so the song ends, and about three more other songs were played. finally the dj starts mumbling like i knew he would and i kept hearing all these names - cannonball adderly, thad jones/mel lewis orchestra and a couple of other artist i dont remember, and im yelling at my wife write that down! write that down! so i took that napkin list to the cd store and bought all of them. just because free for all is such an amazing tune. but wait! the rest of the album is just as good! as a matter of fact the tune "the core" actually matches it in intensity. all of the musicians on this cd are just amazing, in fact i was so smitten with the trumpet playing by freedie hubbard on this cd (the trumpet solo in the core is just stunning)i went and picked up a whole bunch of his cd's and now im getting into wayne shorter as well. and of course let me not forget the awesome drumming of art blakey and the stellar musicianship of bassist reg workman, pianist cedar walton and trombonist curt fuller. just a terrific album and the others i had to buy with it were great as well! as a side note if you like the last song on this cd "pensativa" you can hear an absolutely killer live version of it on freddie hubbards the night of the cookers cd. its 22:15 long and contains one of the most awesome trumpet duals between freedie and lee morgan!Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By NotATameLion on September 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Once again--what can be said in the face of sheer greatness? This album falls into my "possible greatest of all time" category.
Art Blakey is awesome. He takes his companions to the woodshed in the title track. If ever one single song was worth the price of an entire disc it has to be "Free for All." There is no other song quite like it.
It'd be one thing if Blakey were blowing away your everyday jazz masters, but he's taking on the likes of Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard here...no scrubs.
Don't let my focus on the opening track deceive you. The rest of the disc is outstanding as well. "Hammer Head" s one of my favorite songs to space out and drift away to.
"Free for All" earns my highest recommendation. The only shame is that I can only give it five stars.
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