[JPL] Billy Harper / Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

Andy Cook ajcook68 at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 1 11:27:18 EST 2006

A side note to the NY Times article on Billy Harper.  I just recently found in the stores, a newly issued CD of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Live! at Slug's, N.Y.C.from August, 1968.  The CD is issued on a Universal Music Group label called Empire MusicWerks.  Website is empiremusicwerks.com.
  It featues Billy Harper, Bill Hardman, Julian Priester, Ronnie Matthews, and Lawrence Evans.  This was orginally issued on Everest Records in 1978.  This edition of the Jazz Messengers, together between 1967-1968, followed the group with Chuck Mangione, Frank Mitchell, Keith Jarrett/Chick Corea, and Reggie Johnson.  This has got to be one of the most adventurous and explosive groups that Blakey ever had.  Too bad this group never made it to the recording studio.  That's why I believe this CD is worth checking out because there is absolutely nothing mainstream about these Jazz Messengers, during a time where "mainstream" jazz artists were out of favor. It was this Everest recording that introduced me to the awesome, and powerful sound of Billy Harper.  One of the most underrated tenor players. He is at the top of my list.
  Andy Cook
  Jazz Brunch
  WFNX Boston  

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