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A Night in Tunisia Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks, February 15, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Even in 1959, when this album was recorded, Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night In Tunisia" was the subject of endless recorded versions, most of them dull. With one of the greatest editions of the Jazz Messengers, Blakey found new inspiration in the tune and recorded this explosive, masterful version.

Members Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter and Bobby Timmons contribute originals to the album and Timmons's "So Tired" might have been a soul jazz hit were it not for the overwhelming power of the title tracks. Two bonus tracks have been added to the original album.

ART BLAKEY, drums
LEE MORGAN, trumpet; WAYNE SHORTER, tenor sax: BOBBY TIMMONS, piano; JYMIE MERRITT, bass

* Bonus tracks, not part of the original LP

Recorded on August 7 (#2, 4, 6 & 7) & August 14 (#1,3,5), 1960 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

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Throughout his long career, Art Blakey built a tremendous reputation for aggressive bands that featured the most gifted young musicians. Few of his later bands, however, could stand comparison with this 1960 edition of the hard-bop juggernaut. Its members combined strong writing skills with distinctive solo voices, including the creative seeking of tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter; the edgy, sometimes blistering, trumpet of Lee Morgan; and the soul-drenched piano of Bobby Timmons. Blakey's drumming contributes an explosive drive to this CD's version of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia," a coiling snake of bop exoticism, while "So Tired" is a Timmons essay in deep funk, like his better-known "Moanin'" and "Dat Dere" an elemental tune with subtle underpinnings. --Stuart Broomer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 15, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B00079ZA0Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,716 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Brad Richman HALL OF FAME on February 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The recent batch of Blue Note RVG releases will make many a jazz fan salivate. There are some long neglected titles in this round of reissues, with this one being one of the best, if not the rarest. Of the half-dozen albums this edition of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers recorded in 1960 and early 1961, this is the finest. "A Night in Tunisia" was recorded over two sessions yielding enough material for this album and "Like Someone in Love" (another candidate for RVG reissue). The latter album is great as well, but there is just something about the sequence of the Tunisia tracks that makes it a masterpiece. "A Night in Tunisia" opens with the fever-pitched rhythmic orgasm that is the title track. And the album doesn't catch its breath until the reflective "Yama." Then things pick back up again with Blakey's gallop-like drumming on the opening of "Kozo's Waltz." Finally, it's hard to believe "When Your Lover Has Gone" was not the last song on the original album because as the concluding piece, it fits like a glove. "A Night in Tunisia" is a classic from start to finish.
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Format: Audio CD
I came to this album very early in my jazz listening career (taking baby steps out of the Ken Burns cradle). I bought it right after "Moanin'" because that seemed like the logical thing to do. Let me tell you, this album is a HUGE shock after "Moanin'" if you're not prepared for it. While "Moanin'" was an excursion in groove, swing, and in-the-pocket hard bop, "A Night In Tunisia" is a forward-looking powerhouse that isn't as accessible but just as amazing. The reason for this change can be traced primarily to the passage of two years and the presence of Wayne Shorter who was, is, and always will be ahead of his time. Though he contributed only one tune to this session, "Sincerely Diana," that tune and his others like it moved the Jazz Messengers much closer to the cutting edge of the new harmonic language that would become post-bop. His szxophone playing is also much drier and more angular than his predecessor, Benny Golson. Initially, this was a turn-off to me, as it will be for the casual jazz listener. Wayne Shorter takes time to appreciate but he truly is one of the greatest geniuses jazz has ever known.

As the other reviewers have said, the title track is a long, intense affair that highlights Art Blakey's drive and power on the drums. But it features great playing from all of the group, and Lee Morgan's cadenza near the end with Art cheering him on is one of the great moments of Jazz Messengers history. The other tunes, "So Tired," "Yama," and "Kozo's Waltz," are definitely in the hard-bop vein but they do predict the innovations to come in the following years. Since this album is not as immediately accessible as "Moanin'" and some others, get "Moanin'" first, then get "The Big Beat," also with Shorter present. Then check out "Like Someone in Love," from the same session as this one. If you like all of those albums, then get this one. The level of musicianship is superb and Art Blakey's drumming is superhuman in its drive.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having been rather tardy in coming to Mr Art Blakey and his Jazz combo, I am kicking myself for missing out on this superb collection of sounds. I had previously dismissed Mr Art as a bit staid and set in his ways. What do I know eh? Anyway having bought this CD through Amazon.com (to avoid the dreaded copy protected UK disc) I am thoroughly pleased with my purchase. I had been a bit confused between apparently competing versions of "A Night...." , it seems that there is another similarly titled recording dating from 2 or three years earlier , with a different line-up of Messengers. I have no idea how this compares but on its own merits it is very fine. Sorry I don't feel qualified to do a track by track analysis - some Jazz buff can do that better than I. However I am more than happy to award this the five star treatment.

I commend this CD to the House.
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Format: Audio CD
bah! da da da da dish bah...

art blakey made the tune a night in tunisia his own, his solo opening the selection is so spectacular i wanted the drumming to go on. but then i would had missed the straight out tenor playing of wayne shorter, followed by lee morgan.

to call something a waltz outside of european based concert music is risky, the ear wants to make comparisons to hear if what is called a waltz is really a waltz or just someone saying something is a waltz. fortunately, for jazz there's fats waller's jitterbug waltz as the first jazz waltz. lee morgan's koko's waltz is in the tradition of the jazz waltz.

blakey's a night in tunisia is a filler in your jazz collection. you can't claim to like jazz or talk about jazz unless you've at least heard tunisia. and for the ridiculously low price it's being offered, less than eight dollars, at this writing, you really shouldn't pass it up.
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I love all of Art Blakey's early recordings and I especially like "A Night In Tunisia" not for it's apparent virtuosity, but it's constant swing and focus on the music. Nobody swung harder than the Jazz Messengers in my opinion. This 1960 Blue Note recording with Lee Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Bobby Timmons on piano, and Jymie Merritt on bass is the best Messengers lineup in my opinion. This group smokes this set. An absolute essential jazz recording.
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