Newly Remastered For Blue Note 75th Anniversary
Recorded live at Birdland in New York on Feb. 21, 1954, this LP features Art Blakey with Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson, Horace Silver and Curly Russell. Newly-remastered for vinyl as part of an overall Blue Note 75th anniversary vinyl reissue campaign spearheaded by current Blue Note Records President, Don Was.
Art Blakey's pre-Messengers quintet are in fine form on this second volume of A Night At Birdland, a date that Blakey later claimed to be the "first time I enjoyed a record session." Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson, Curley Russell, original Messengers leader Horace Silver and the powerful Art Blakey present a night of hard-swinging tunes and astounding soloing that defines the state of modern jazz in 1954. Blakey launches into a raucous solo to introduce the sizzling "Wee Dot" as the set's opener. Switching gears, Donaldson is then featured on the classic "If I Had You," a bluesy ballad that gets a lift by the saxophonist's shimmering tone.
The heat is back on, though, as a lightning-quick alternate take of Silver's "Quicksilver" will leave you breathless in its wake. A delightful arrangement of Jerome Kern's "The Way You Look Tonight" gives us a hint of the future Messengers sound. The end of the set appropriately features two Bird classics — the exemplary "Now's The Time" and the furious "Confirmation" — both receiving excellent performances that cap off a memorable night of jazz.
|If I Had You|
|Now’s The Time|