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Hard Drive

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 18, 1999
$133.64 $11.95

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00000IQ1A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,570 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
I count 10 albums recorded by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in 1957 alone, a prodigious year by any standard. A few ("Tough" on Cadet, "Cu-bop" on Jubilee) are fairly routine outings, but others ("Lerner & Loewe" on Victor, "With Monk" on Atlantic) are very good. This Bethlehem album goes into the latter group; in fact, only the somewhat dull tune "Late spring" keeps it from being perhaps the best album of the year for Blakey. Bill Hardman is on trumpet and Johnny Griffin on tenor in the front line, and both play superbly. Hard bop at its best.
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Format: MP3 Music
I am both a Jazz Messengers fan (what drummer isn't?) as well as a Bill Hardman fan, so this album is a treasure to me. Listen to the sound samples on this page for a taste of what's inside.

While this is definitely hard bop, there is a softer edge to it that some of the other albums that Blakey was recording during this period. Of course Hardman's gorgeous tone and phrasing are there, and I prefer him paired with Johnny Griffin's tenor sax than the albums that had him paired with Jackie McLean's alto sax (the two album set titled Tough! + Hard Bop + 1 Bonus Track is a good example that will contrast the Griffin and McLean). Of course, it all boils down to personal taste, so the sound samples on this page are an invaluable aid for gauging that.

All of the tracks were recorded in NYC for the Bethlehem label in October 1957, and all but one track features Junior Mance on piano (the exception is track 3, Deo-X, which features Sam Dockerty. All of the tracks feature a front line comprised of Bill Hardman on trumpet and Johnny Griffin on tenor sax. Spanky DeBrest and Blakey round out the rhythm section on bass and drums.

Track 3 was recorded on October 9, 1957 and the rest of the tracks on October 11, 1957. I believe that this is the only appearance of Junior Mance on a Jazz Messengers album, although Blakey and he played together in ensembles led by Sonny Stitt in 1950 and Joe Gordon in 1954. Since I am also a fan of Mance this album is even more valuable to me.
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Format: Audio CD
Any recording featuring Bill Hardman's trumpet with Blakey's Messengers is a worthy find. And on this one, he's joined on the front-line by the "Little Giant," Johnny Griffin. The tunes are somewhat dated blues and bebop heads, but the inventiveness of the soloists surpasses that of many more heralded musicians from this or any later period. My only disappointment is that another Blakey-Hardman recording from this period (with Jackie McLean replacing Griffin)--"Tough"--has apparently never been reissued on CD. A pity, because Hardman is simply brilliant, more than compensating for the unavoidably sour after-taste of Jackie's alto.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was the second jazz album (vinyl) I ever bought, still have it. It's great to hear the music without scratches. My vinyl LP got played alot as I'm sure this CD will. Art Blakey had an ear for talent as exhibited by virtually all of the lineups that comprised the the various editions of the Jazz Messengers. One could spend hours debating which group was the best; they were all great.
The music on this CD contains elements of 'cool' "For Minors Only". Bill Hardman's trumpet solo would make Miles jealous. The soulful "Right Down Front" Allows everyone to shine. Junior Mance and Hardman in particular. The 'bebop' shows up in "DEO-X". Blakey's drum intro let's you know immediately that something's up. The ensemble playing is tight and crisp and Johnny Griffen really moves out. Bill Hardman who's playing is excellent throughout makes his statement folllwed by a short precise comment by Junior Mance, and then the master, Art Blakey finally takes a solo that still gives me chills whenever I hear it.
There is a lot of good music on this album, and I'll shut up and leave it for the listener to discover, except for one piece. "Late Spring", the number that closes the session is one of the most lyrically swinging tunes I know. It's the most worn cut on my LP. Thank you for this CD.
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Format: MP3 Music
Hard Drive and Right Down Drive are the same album. No difference. Same tunes, etc. So don't buy both unless you want duplicates.
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