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  • Jazz Icons: Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Live in '58
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Jazz Icons: Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Live in '58


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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: Jazz Icons
  • 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: #38,518 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
Good sound quality.
Fred
For those who love Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers w/trumpet god Lee Morgan, this video is an absolute MUST HAVE!
L. Sherrod
This is the best you will ever see by one of the greatest groups in jazz.
Ravi H. Best

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 30, 2006
Format: DVD
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 By Ravi H. Best on January 3, 2007
Format: DVD
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 By JoeyD on August 14, 2007
Format: DVD
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 By Peter Gottfried on October 17, 2006
Format: DVD
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 By H. Bloomfield on October 7, 2006
Format: DVD
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 By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 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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