Click on the link here for Audio Player – Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers – Live at The Paris Olympia – 1958 – RFI
One of my all-time favorites this weekend. Art Blakey was one of the truly innovative, individual and massively influential drummers to grace the Jazz idiom. He took what had previously been considered a by-product of marking time to creating a musical instrument of percussion – giving the drum a voice.
And Blakey was also someone everyone wanted to collaborate with. And so the Jazz Messengers were a very exciting unit to experience as a whole. Here they are in concert in Paris, during the halcyon days where a lot of experimenting and direction-finding were going on.
This concert, recorded over two days (November 22 and December 17, 1958) was given at the legendary Paris Olympia, and features a group consisting of Benny Golson on tenor sax, Bobby Timmons on Piano, Lee Morgan on trumpet and Jimmy Meritt on bass.
Lucky for everyone the venerable Radio France was recording it all. It’s always amazing (but not so surprising) when recognition and the necessity to preserve comes from someplace that isn’t local.
Still happens – they obviously know something we don’t.