Open Sesame [RVG RM 2002]

Tracks: 8, total time: 53:32, year: 1960, genre: Jazz: Hard Bop

S/N Time Song Title
1. 7:12 Open Sesame
2. 6:27 But Beautiful
3. 6:29 Gypsy Blue
4. 5:37 All or Nothing at All
5. 6:04 One Mint Julep
6. 6:52 Hub’s Nub
7. 7:17 Open Sesame (Alt. Take)
8. 7:34 Gypsy Blue (Alt. Take)

Jazz Best

Tracks: 15, total time: 48:50, year: 2012, genre: Jazz: Hard Bop

S/N Time Song Title
1. 3:02 That Old Feeling
2. 3:20 My Buddy
3. 4:22 My Ideal
4. 4:53 You Don’t Know What Love Is
5. 2:42 Look For The Silver Lining
6. 2:59 I Get Along Without You Very Well
7. 3:00 There Will Never Be Another You
8. 3:43 Grey December
9. 3:02 Someone To Watch Over Me
10. 3:20 I Fall In Love Too Easily
11. 3:39 Everything Happens To Me
12. 2:50 Line For Lyons
13. 2:35 Time After Time
14. 3:05 But Not For Me
15. 2:19 My Funny Valentine

The Definitive Miles Davis on Prestige (CD 2)

Tracks: 12, total time: 72:54, year: 2011, genre: Jazz: Hard Bop

S/N Time Song Title
1. 5:23 There is No Greater Love
2. 9:08 Surrey with the Fringe on Top
3. 6:11 Salt Peanuts
4. 5:27 It Never Entered My Mind
5. 8:22 If I Were a Bell
6. 5:25 ‘Round Midnight
7. 5:12 I Could Write a Book
8. 6:32 Oleo
9. 6:02 My Funny Valentine
10. 5:42 Tune-Up
11. 7:36 When Lights Are Low
12. 1:57 The Theme (Take 1)

The Definitive Miles Davis on Prestige (CD 1)

Tracks: 12, total time: 76:10, year: 2011, genre: Jazz: Hard Bop

S/N Time Song Title
1. 2:23 Morpheus
2. 2:56 Ezz-Thetic
3. 7:36 Dig
4. 4:05 Four
5. 5:47 Compulsion
6. 4:47 Solar
7. 7:55 I’ll Remember April
8. 13:26 Walkin’
9. 5:02 Airegin
10. 4:38 In Your Own Sweet Way
11. 11:17 Bags’ Groove (Take 1)
12. 6:19 Will You Still Be Mine

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk [RM 1999]

Tracks: 9, total time: 64:38, year: 1958, genre: Jazz: Hard Bop

2000 Rhino/Atlantic Recording Corp.

Originally Released 1957
CD Edition Released June 1987
Atlantic Jazz Gallery CD Edition Released February 16, 1999

AMG EXPERT REVIEW: Art Blakey’s JazzMessengers With Thelonious Monk (1958) was one of a number of landmark projects that Monk (piano) would record during the remarkably prolific spring and summer of 1957. In addition to this confab, he also documented the solo platter Thelonious Himself (1957),as well as Monk’s Music’s (1957) with a septet, and even going toe to toe with another respective pair of his formidable contemporaries on Thelonious Monk With John Coltrane (1957) and MulliganMeets Monk (1957). However in this classic confrontation, Art Blakey (drums) and his concurrent Jazz Messengers — featuring the talents of Johnny Griffin (tenor sax), Bill Hardman (trumpet), andSpanky Debrest (bass) — play host to the pianist on his only sides for the venerable Atlantic record label. As one might anticipate with an artist whose catalog almost single-handedly defines bebop, the vast majority of the cleverly chosen material consistsof Monk standards. While both co-leads rise to the occasion withthoroughly expressive performances throughout, this incarnation of the Jazz Messengers reveals a particularly potent support. During “Evidence,” Hardman unleashes a powerful lead into an equallyinspired keyboard run of enthusiastic chord progressions and advanced phrasings from Monk. Griffin’s interminable bop mentality effortlessly punctuates “In Walked Bud” as he almost immediately pounces into the free swinging melody with a verve that refuses tosubside. From Blakey’s boisterous opening to “Blue Monk” right through to the single-note crescendo during the finale, the Jazz Messengers provide a lethargic propulsion that showcases the tune’sbluesy origins. This directly contrasts the up-tempo charge of “Rhythm-a-Ning.” The quirky-yet-catchy chorus bounces from the dual-lead horn section with the entire arrangement tautly bound by the understated Debrest and Blakey. Griffin’s “Purple Shades” is asmartly syncopated blues that is more of a musical platform forthe Jazz Messengers than for Monk. That said, his opening solo alternately shimmers and shudders with Debrest as well as the two-piece brass section demonstrating its own pronounced capabilitiesover Monk’s counterpoint. This European release contains an additional three full-length “alternate takes” of “Evidence,” “Blue Monk” — which in some ways bests the released version — and “I Mean You.” These are the same supplementary sides that are includedon the Rhino Records 1999 North American domestic CD reissue ofthis same title. ~ Lindsay Planer essential recording
In 1957 Thelonious Monk still lived at the edges of acceptance by a larger jazz audience, and Art Blakey’s signature group wasin the midst of a long formative phase. With Bill Hardman’s cutting, raw-edged trumpet and Johnny Griffin’s gruff and coiling tenor, Blakey’s band was a looser, less defined, but more intense unit than it would become later with in-house composers like BennyGolson, Bobby Timmons, and Wayne Shorter. When Blakey and Monk, longtime friends and associates, made this date playing some of Monk’s core material, the Messengers became virtually a Monk ensemble and one of the most inspired to record. A year later, Griffinwould be a regular member of Monk’s quartet, and this disc demonstrates why. –Stuart Broomer Customer Review
Monophonically Marvelous Monk, December 11, 2003
Reviewer: Samuel Chell (Kenosha,, WI United States)
I purchased this recording because of the presence of its three forceful and virtuosic if not indomitable hard-bop players–Blakey, Griffin, and the underratedHardman. Moreover, with Blakey at the controls, you expect the music to be hard-driving, soulful and funky– regardless of who theother personnel are (not to mention the date being under the Jazz Messengers’ name).

The surprise, possibly even for some Monkfans: nobody upstages, detracts from, plays over or by Thelonious, whose session this is from beginning to end. His irresistible,indelible stamp is on every bar of every tune, which he achievesas much by laying out as by constructing weird, off-balance voicings and elliptical, serendipitous melodic motifs. By slowing practically every tempo down to his favorite groove–somewhere southof “medium” tempo–he gives himself necessary creative space while forcing the other three to fill space with pyrotechnics–but never leaving any doubt about who the ringmaster is.

This is asenjoyable a Monk session as any I’ve heard (even if it’s very atypical Messengers’ music). Just be forewarned that the piano is out of tune (which Monk exploits in all registers), and the stereoseparation on my copy is so ridiculously extreme that TheloniousSphere seems to be occupying (literally) another sonic sphere. In fact, the only way I found to appreciate the album, and fully “hear” the music, was to mix the two channels into a monophonic signal (not possible, unfortunately, with many machines). Customer Review
Meeting of giants, June 3, 2001
Reviewer: “vinylcootie” (Brighton, UK)
This is one of those wonderful encounters that crisply exhibit the fertility of jazz. Art Blakey’sbands were among the most swinging units of the 50s, admired fortheir tight orchestrations and sheer command of their material.Monk had been recording his own works for Riverside with highly creative, complex musicians, assembled by Orrin Keepnews.

The March 1957 recording with Art Blakey is an unqualified masterpiece. The startling uniqueness of Monk’s compositions emerges out ofa fascinating dialogue between himself and Blakey. Johnny Griffincontributes one composition to the date, “Purple Shades”. “In Walked Bud” contains some of Blakey’s most creative drumming: rollsso brief and dense they flutter like whispers, sharp rimshots that accentuate the contours of Monk’s ideas, a pulse that is implied more by space between identifiable sonic events than by soundsthemselves. A similarly magical treatment is afforded to “Evidence”, “Blue Monk” and “I Mean You”. The timelessness of this recording lies in its ability to create a synthesis of the origins ofjazz in blues motifs and an authoritative development of these motifs into a new, modern music. Johnny Griffin is on sparkling form, spurred by the driving rapport between Monk and Blakey, delivering solos of considerable intensity and originality.

This record is what modern jazz in the 50s was all about. It predated many of the rhythmic and harmonic “innovations” of the following decade, and still today sets extremely high standards for contemporary jazz. Customer Review
The Blakey-Monk Jazz School, November 4, 2000
Reviewer: “loek” (Amsterdam Netherlands)
When I first heard this classic album I became fascinated by thecollaboration between Art Blakey and Thelonious Monk. This is communication on the highest level possible. You can wake me up in the middle of the night to listen to I Mean You or Rhythm-a-Ning.Just the way Blakey & Monk seem to “feed” ideas to Bill Hardman -who’s way below the level of B&M – is something I can listen tofor as long as I live. And then there’s Johnny Griffin, a Monk player as good as Charlie Rouse ever was. This new CD is such a bigimprovement; at last there is the balance that was sadly missingin the original longplay album. If you ever want to understand and appreciate the real genius of B&M, get this one – and listen to it, study it, enjoy it. Customer Review
A greatimprovement over the original CD, March 28, 2000
Reviewer: “doublehighc” (California)
Here is another CD remaster that is worldsbetter than what it replaces. The original CD of this album hadMonk in one channel, the Messengers in the other channel, with everyone muffled by dim sound. Apparently they didn’t do that one from the original masters.

This time they got it right. The sound is much more present, and it’s in high-quality mono rather than the annoying “stereo” of the previous release. You can ever hear the bass this time! Rhythm-a-Ning is a personal favorite of mine since we played an arrangement of it in my college jazz band, but in any event this is a top notch collaboration between Monk and Blakey. Customer Review
dissonant…, September18, 2004
Reviewer: Cedric Westphal “cedichou” (san francisco, ca)
I am going to sound a different bell than the other reviewershere: while they rave about this album, I have to say I was rather annoyed. To me, Monk did not integrate with Blakey’s band. They are playing in a quite straight up style, and he is in a very broken motifs mood. His style is very percussive here (short abrupt chords, with little continuity) and keeps running against the music the others weave around him. It sounded to me like a kid sabotaging the music. He is silent on the head out of ‘evidence’, oron the drums solo: those are the best parts.
(and don’t get mewrong: I love Monk, he’s a genius and one of the greatest composers, it just did not fit here). Album Credits
BillHardman, Contributing Artist
Johnny Griffin, Contributing Artist
Earl Brown, Engineer
Nesuhi Ertegun, Producer

Album Notes
Personnel: Art Blakey (drums); Thelonious Monk (piano); Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone); Bill Hardman (trumpet); Spanky DeBrest (bass).

Includes liner notes by Martin Williams.

S/N Time Song Title
1. 6:47 Evidence
2. 6:40 In Walked Bud
3. 7:55 Blue Monk
4. 8:03 I Mean You
5. 7:21 Rhythm-A-Ning
6. 7:49 Purple Shades
7. 5:31 Evidence (Alt. Take)
8. 7:00 Blue Monk (Alt. Take)
9. 7:32 I Mean You (Alt. Take)