Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Intriguing lineup; not his best release
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 04/26/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I thought I was familiar with all of the Jazz Messenger lineups Blakey assembled, but "Get the Message" sprung a new one on me. The biggest surprise was Chuck Mangione (who later achieved a brief measure of stardom with the quasi-jazz "Feels So Good") on trumpet, but I was likewise unaware that Keith Jarrett played with Blakey. The long-forgotten Frank Mitchell plays tenor sax and the rock-solid Reggie Workman rounds out the group, on bass.Since I've never been a fan of Mangione's bland commercial releases or Jarrett's frequently overblown and self-important recordings (important note: Keith DOES NOT sing along with himself on this CD. Rest easy.), I was persuaded to pick up the release only after finding it in a bargain bin. The music is surprisingly satisfying, but still lacks a bit of an edge.For example, "Buttercorn Lady," a Mangione composition, got the CD off to the result I'd feared. It's a romp, but has the ersatz Latin flavor of Mangione's commercial work, and lacks a satisfying punch. The follow-up, however (also a Mangione composition), "Recuerdo," is much better. Everyone solos swingingly, and the composition itself shows a lot more thought than "Buttercorn." Jarrett's strumming of the piano strings became a cliche with Charles Lloyd's band, but here it works, particularly in conjunction with Blakey's low-key and thoughtful solo.Mangione also displays good taste and form on the standard "My Romance," although you will notice his limitations as well. Listening to it, I couldn't help but wonder how it would have sounded in the hands of Lee Morgan, or Freddie Hubbard or Wynton Marsalis for that matter. (Compare Chuck's use of the mute with Wynton's, for instance. No contest.)All in all, it may be unfair, but the comparisons between this band and some of Blakey's others are hard to avoid. Frank Mitchell swings hard in a Coltrane vein, but he's no Wayne Shorter. Jarrett didn't have then (the album was recorded in 1966), nor did he ever develop, the originality, drive, or compositional skills of Bobby Timmons, Horace Silver, or James Williams, to name a few of Blakey's best pianists.If you're a big Blakey fan (as I am), this is an interesting CD to add to your collection, but I'd hold out until you can find it at a bargain price. All in all, not an unsatisfying date, but nothing to write home about."
Quite an unsual but amazing band
Tyler Smith | 05/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Chuck Mangione and Keith Jarrett are not the people that immediately come to mind when one thinks of Art Blakey's sidemen. Yet they are featured on this fascinating live disc from a 1966 recording. While this may not be Blakey's most cohesive band or record, it is nevertheless a great recording. Mangione, best known for his "smooth" work in the 1970's, is a suprisingly adept hard-bop trumpet player, and Jarrett, who is barely 21 years old on this recording, already sounds amazing. He demonstrates his debts to Paul Bley, Bill Evans and even Wynton Kelly and McCoy Tyner, but manages to let his own unique musical personality come through. Highly recommended for the Keith Jarrett fan, and worth listening to just because of the unusual (but effective) line-up."