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A Night In Tunisia (Remastered)

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Album Review

This excellent set features one of the best recordings by the second version of the Jazz Messengers, and it is the only time that Blakey featured both altoist Jackie McLean and tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin together; Griffin soon became McLean's successor with the band. Also in the group at the time were trumpeter Bill Hardman, pianist Sam Dockery, and bassist Spanky DeBrest. The selections include a lengthy version of "A Night in Tunisia," Sonny Rollins' "Evans," and an original apiece by McLean, Griffin, and Hardman. The music overall lives up to one's expectations, with Blakey's powerful drumming inspiring the soloists to play at their best. Classic hard bop. [Some reissues add three previously unreleased alternate takes, including "A Night in Tunisia."]

Biography

Born: 11 October 1919 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

In the '60s, when John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman were defining the concept of a jazz avant-garde, few knowledgeable observers would have guessed that in another 30 years the music's mainstream would virtually bypass their innovations, in favor of the hard bop style that free jazz had apparently supplanted. As it turned out, many listeners who had come to love jazz as a sophisticated manifestation of popular music were unable to accept the extreme esotericism of the avant-garde; their tastes were...
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