Song of the Day: Jah Wobble “Hold On To Your Dreams”
A barnstorming, hard bop masterpiece, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers rip up the floor boards, tear down the walls and set what’s left of the house on fire with their absolutely incandescent read on the Dizzy Gillespie classic, “A Night in Tunisia”. Opening at 500 mph with an extended drum intro, the group’s read on the track somehow only gains intensity from there. In a career of highlights and in leading top-notch bands, this may very well be Art Blakey‘s finest moment, both as a performer and as a band leader.
Featuring a vintage Jazz Messengers line-up that included the talents of Lee Morgan (trumpet), Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Bobby Timmons (piano) and Jymie Merritt (bass), the band didn’t have a weak link. Powered by the powerhouse drums of Blakey, their fearless leader, not only was this one of the greatest jazz groups assembled, but also one that was most “up for it”. The hunger and talents within this ensemble was palpable, with the group somehow in perfect control of an absolute maelstrom. While Blakey had led classic bands in the past and would go on to lead great bands in the future, this is probably the absolute classic line-up of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers and it shows. This is a track that will kick your ass and then turn around and go 12 rounds with Mohammed Ali in his prime. Fierce!