Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - First Flight to Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings

Scott K Fish

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SKF NOTE: In October this year Impulse is releasing for the first time a live version of "A Love Supreme" from the Coltrane Quartet expanded. And now comes news of a November release for the first time of a 1961 concert of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers with Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter. Excellent!

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Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - First Flight to Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings

First Flight to Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings is a thrilling previously unreleased live recording of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers captured at Hibiya Public Hall in Tokyo on January 14, 1961 during the band’s first-ever tour of Japan. The Jazz Messengers were among the first modern jazz groups to tour the country, and adoring Japanese audiences were enthralled by one of the band’s all-time great line-ups featuring the legendary drummer with Lee Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Bobby Timmons on piano, and Jymie Merritt on bass.

The concert featured soaring performances of well-known jazz staples including Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time,” Thelonious Monk’s “Round About Midnight,” and Jazz Messenger hits including “Blues March,” “Dat Dere,” and “Moanin’.”

The deluxe 2-LP vinyl and 2-CD editions both come with elaborate booklets featuring rare photos....

Audio was newly transferred from the original ¼” tape reels....

Full story


 

Kcmcc

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The version of Moanin' is already up on Spotify and it is absolutely burning. This and the new studio album from last year are absolute treasures. My favorite "band" featuring my favorite soloist (Morgan).
 

Deafmoon

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The version of Moanin' is already up on Spotify and it is absolutely burning. This and the new studio album from last year are absolute treasures. My favorite "band" featuring my favorite soloist (Morgan).
There are those who believed Lee was better than Miles. Both could write, maybe the edge to Miles. But flat out blowing? I don’t know it’s very, very close.
 

DD

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That sounds like it’ll really be something to check out! Wonder what the story is on recording being ‘lost’? Anybody know?
 

mtarrani

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Choose your fighter! Lol. I'm going with Lee. (Not Bruce)
Lee by a long shot for command of his instrument. Miles by a long shot for creativity, continual reinvention of himself, and contributions to music in general well beyond the confines of jazz. I certainly never much cared for Miles stuff from the mod 60s on, but I have always admired what he did, his reach of influence, and his restless pursuit of pushing the boundaries by refusing to recognize that there were boundaries. Oh, yeah, and never resting on his laurels. This Miles Davis quote sums up the latter: "A legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do. I'm still doing it."
 

Pink69

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That would have been a great time to have been in Japan as well.
 

GiveMeYourSmallestSticks!

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This looks phenomenal, but for the record Impulse has already released what I thought was the only known full live recording of "A Love Supreme" on the 2 disc deluxe edition. Not sure if this one will be different, but it does exist and has been officially released already.
 
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There are MANY live Blakey recordings from that era that have already been released by European labels, and yes they are all very good. That was a very consistent and professional band. They would play anywhere and everywhere, and agree to broadcast's (and recordings) no matter the situation. My 2 faves (other than the "official" releases of that era) are:

2 CD's from Paris May 13, 1961
2 CD from Switzerland Dec 8 1960

My fave live (little known) Blakey is from 1966, from the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach CA. It features a lineup that has gone under the radar, the recording was "originally" called "Buttercorn Lady." The band was: Chuck Mangione, Frank Mitchell, Keith Jarrett, Reggie Workman, and Blakey.

There is also a cool live recording with Woody Shaw and Carlos Garnett. The earlier Messengers with John Hicks, Lee Morgan, and John Gilmore is a personal fave as well (mainly because I got to play with John Hicks a lot, and got all sorts of Blakey info and lessons from a first person perspective. Don't ask me to share them, they were personal conversations.)

I'll be buying this BN release when it appears!
Thanks for the heads up SKF!
MSG
 

Scott K Fish

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This looks phenomenal, but for the record Impulse has already released what I thought was the only known full live recording of "A Love Supreme" on the 2 disc deluxe edition. Not sure if this one will be different, but it does exist and has been officially released already.
The previous live “Supreme” is the Coltrane Quartet. The upcoming release is the augmented Coltrane Quartet. Apples/oranges.
 

wflkurt

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Looks like I will have more cool stuff to listen to on my ride home from gigs! Thanks for the heads up!
 


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