Art Blakey was one of the greatest of all jazz drummers, a masterful talent scout and the inspiring leader of the Jazz Messengers. For 35 years (1955-90), the Jazz Messengers featured brilliant young talent who were pushed by Blakey to write new music and play at their very best. Few lineups could compete with the 1960 edition of the Jazz Messengers featured on the album "The Big Beat". Blakey, the "old man" of the band at 30, is joined by bassist Jymie Merritt and three brilliant stylists who were not only exciting soloists but very skilled songwriters: trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor-saxophonist Wayne Shorter and pianist Bobby Timmons.
The Big Beat introduces Timmons' "Dat Dere" (which practically defines soul jazz) and Shorter's "Lester Left Town" (a tribute to Lester Young) and includes an inventive version of "It's Only A Paper Moon" along with a few other lesser-known but colorful pieces. This is hard bop at its finest from one of the most immortal jazz groups of all time. The definitive versions of Blue Note are on XRCD24 - the optimization of CD mastering and manufacturing. Plays on all standard CD players.