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Jazz Icons: Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Live in '58 (1958)

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers  |  NR |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Jazz Icons: Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Live in '58 + Jazz Icons: John Coltrane Live in '60, '61 & '65 + Jazz Icons: Thelonious Monk Live in '66
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Product Details

  • Actors: Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Tdk DVD Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2006
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H9HWQ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,811 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Choosing a favorite edition of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers is about as easy as choosing a favorite Frank Lloyd Wright work or Matisse painting, but by any criteria, the group captured on this frequently thrilling concert film ranks with the best of them. That trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor saxophonist (and music director) Benny Golson, pianist Bobby Timmons and bassist Jymie Merritt were together for only six months under the aegis of master drummer and headmaster Blakey makes the discovery of the footage from this 1958 Belgium performance all the more noteworthy. Morgan, only 20 at the time, is nothing less than sensational, whether firing up Blakey's perennial favorite "Night in Tunisia," mourning the premature death of trumpeter Clifford Brown on Golson's "I Remember Clifford" or feeding the call and response of Timmons's gospel-tinged hit, "Moanin'." We're not in Ken Burns country here: the black and white images are grainy and the camera work is rudimentary, but the filmmakers' modest, attentive approach serves the music and the moment well. The accompanying booklet boasts a great collection of photos. --Lloyd Sachs

Product Description

Jazz Icons: Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers features what many consider to be one of the fi nest line-ups in the history of jazz—Bobby Timmons (Piano), Jymie Merritt (Bass), Benny Golson (Sax) and the legendary trumpet player, Lee Morgan. Lost for nearly 50 years, this historic 55 minute concert, fi lmed in Belgium in 1958, one month to the day after they recorded their masterpiece Moanin,’ is the only known visual document of this infl uential band who were together for only six months.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blakey in his prime, with a heavyweight lineup November 30, 2006
This concert from November 30, 1958 is the only known film of the powerhouse quintet that recorded Blakey's landmark "Moanin'" album -- Blakey on drums, along with pianist Bobby Timmons, trumpeter Lee Morgan, saxophonist Benny Golson and bassist Jymie Merritt. Blakey is to some degree enigmatic (and poorly miked, alas...) but Timmons and Morgan emerge as remarkable up-and-coming players... Timmons shines on a warm version of his song, "Moanin'," which was the first big hit for Blakey's Jazz Messengers, while Morgan -- who was only twenty at the time! -- is simply stunning. Morgan's solo on "It's You, Or No One" is the kind of thing DVDs were made for -- I rewound it five times the first time I watched this disc, just trying to fathom how someone so young could have so much control over their instrument. Although the cinematography is a bit choppy throughout, once you settle into the film's rhythm, this disc yields quite a wealth of historical splendor. Blakey fans and hard bop aficianados will consider this one a must.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Blakey Video Available!! January 3, 2007
This is the best you will ever see by one of the greatest groups in jazz. Filmed shortly after the

recording of Moanin', the biggest selling Blue Note recording. This is the best video of Lee Morgan

that exitsts. The audio and video quality are flawless. It is a must have for any jazz lover or student of

the music. DO NOT PASS ON THIS!!! It is KILLIN'!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait to see the other one's... What a TREASURE! August 14, 2007
By JoeyD
Amazing stuff! I had my reservations before purchasing this one, having never heard of these "Jazz Icons" DVD releases before. I was not expecting it to be all that great. Boy was I ever mistaken! After watching this, I can't wait to start purchasing the others in this series. Talk about hitting the mother lode! I can't believe how lucky I am to have discovered this treasure trove of classic jazz performances. The sound quality and camera work are excellent. And the live performance by this incredible quintet is awe-inspiring. I almost feel guilty that I only paid twenty bucks for this - an hour of great music plus a 20-page booklet featuring very well written and informative liner notes by Michael Cuscuna, a foreward by Takashi Taylor (Art's son) and some rare, excellent photographs to boot. Not a bad deal. I would have paid twice as much and been more than satisfied.

You are essentially buying an important piece of American history with this one. It is "the music that changed the world" according to Quincy Jones and while some may look upon that statement as a bit of hyperbole, I tend to agree with him. To see these five artists on film is something truly special for any jazz fan. To be able to watch the young, baby-faced Lee Morgan on trumpet, the austere, perfectionist Bobby Timmons on piano, the blissful and boisterous leader Art Blakey on drums, the reflective, reliable Jymmie Merrit on bass and the composed, temperate Benny Golson on sax... you can't tell me it gets much better than that! These cats play with such intentness, nothing too flashy, never flamboyant, it was all about business, all about playing proficiently and giving it your all.

Trust me folks, this one is a thing of beauty!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Piece of Jazz History October 17, 2006
I have never been moved enough by a DVD performance to actually post an opinion urging others to buy it until now!

I play jazz drums as a hobby and one of my heroes is Art Blakey. I pounced on this when I saw it and was not disappointed. The video as well as the sound is flawless. The performances are incredible with each one being a highlight. Watch for Art's cymbal stand "pyrotechniques" at the end of "Night in Tunisia." Seeing the performance of "Moaning" was like watching history. Art and his Messenger's were swingin' hard!

Next up is Buddy Rich, Thelonius, Ella and then the rest. I am buying them all and urge you to do the same.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Major Find!!!!-Bebop Heaven October 7, 2006
Of all the nine releases in the Jazz Icon series this one blows me away

Moanin on Blue Note was Blakey classic release and to now after 50 years I get to see the band that started my interest in Jazz

Lee Morgan,Benny Golson etc LIVE and UnRelease until now

This is jazz history at its best

The Jazz Icon people produces packages with all the right details

Gloriously filmed in Black and White, fantastic mono sound

A 20 page essay on Blakey and his band

A feast for bebopers everyware. get it !!!!!!!!

H Bloomfield


Art Blakey School Of Hard Bop
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic! May 28, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I cannot count the times I've listened to Moanin' (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition), wishing that I could have been at that session. My reasons are the line-up, and especially Lee Morgan paired with Benny Golson. And, of course, Art Blakey, Bobby Timmons and Jymie Merritt holding down the rhythm section on drums, piano and bass. It was a dream line-up and a short-lived one.

This video does the next best thing - captures that same line-up in a live performance. In fact, being there - even via a video - at a live performance would easily satisfy my wish as a fan.

My favorite segment on this video is Lee Morgan playing Benny Golson's I Remember Clifford. To me that was a musical and emotional high point. Of course, Bobby Timmons playing his own composition, Moanin', and Merritt's bass solo caught my attention. That segment lasted fifteen minutes and everyone contributed to it being a masterpiece.

No Jazz Messenger performance would be complete without Night in Tunisia. Blakey was absolutely explosive.

Let me preface that this is am amazing video that will please any fan or jazz musician. Now for the quibbles: there is no scene indexing on this DVD. You have one option: play. I can live with that because the booklet that comes with this video far exceeded my expectations for being informative. It, alone, is almost worth the price of the DVD. I was so into this performance that I was disappointed that it ended after only 55 minutes. On the other hand, 55 minutes of Jazz Messenger playing is like triple that of any other ensemble because Blakey's energy and drive spurred on any line-up and pushed them to their limits. In the case of this particular line-up, they put their hearts and soul into it - and it shows.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars More back in the day
This is my second Messenger band after the one with Horace and KD. Bring up some more for my enjoyment.
Published 7 months ago by Robert T. Best
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz Classic
Jazz fans don't miss this concert from 1958. Benny Golson was at the top of his game. Lee Morgan at 20 was amazing. This concert was a preview of his bright but short future. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Bruce M. Dolfman
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For Blakey Fans
Many Messenger classics on this one. Good sound quality. How can yo go wrong with Blakey anyway? If you love Blakey like I do, then get this video.
Published on February 14, 2012 by Fred
5.0 out of 5 stars Nirvana!
This edition of the Jazz Messengers only lasted about six months, but it was one of the best, featuring the emerging great talent of Lee Morgan, Benny Golson approaching his prime,... Read more
Published on December 19, 2011 by jazznut
5.0 out of 5 stars Art Blakey/Jazz Messengers
An excellent recording of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers at the top of their form. A good value from Amazon.
Published on March 28, 2010 by M. bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome - Do yourself a favor - GET THIS DVD!
Short review here...get this DVD. It's awesome. Great musical set. My favorite part was at the very end when their trading solos: Benny Golson finishes this commandingly... Read more
Published on March 20, 2010 by beffalonious
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for this box of dynamite
I have to admit that my expectations were low, when I
placed my order for this DVD. It's 1958, in B&W, and,
after all, these are jazz artists, hardly mainstream,... Read more
Published on July 5, 2008 by rayja
5.0 out of 5 stars Calling all [A]rt lovers!
Jazz films of such exceptional quality (high grade film, multiple camera angles, close ups, etc) from this period are few and far between. Read more
Published on April 14, 2008 by Crowhurst
5.0 out of 5 stars Blakey's Best!
Wow, how do I begin to tell you how great this video is? It's like actually being there at this 1958 performance! Read more
Published on September 17, 2007 by M. Trippi
4.0 out of 5 stars Great birthday gift
I purchased this for my nephew's 15th birthday. He loves drumming and the medium of jazz. He played the DVD immediately after receiving the gift and music filled the air all... Read more
Published on March 22, 2007 by Charmaine L. Stouder
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