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Bebop Spoken There

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Postage

13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

Monday, April 20, 2020

Tonight's Blue Note: Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers and RIP Jymie Merritt.

Lee Morgan (trumpet); Benny Golson (tenor sax); Bobby Timmons (piano); Jymie Merritt (bass); Art Blakey (drums).

This just isn't "Tonight's Blue Note" it's also a tribute to Jymie Merritt who died on April 10 - age 93. It's not attributed to the virus.

Two of Blakey's most famous numbers are on the album - Moanin' and Blues March - and Jymie Merritt solos on both. Possibly one of the most underrated bassists of the era and probably the only one who lived to such a ripe old age although Benny Golson is coming up on the rails.

Morgan on trumpet, the link from Fats to Freddie via Clifford, such a great player and such a tragic end. 

Golson - still alive and blowing - when I hear his solos I realise I'm going to have to revise some of my all-time lists!

The Drum Thunder Suite may, at first, tend to put off those who think that drummers should be seen and not heard into re-think mode. The late Bill Shaw and I used to often argue re the relative merits of Blakey and Buddy Rich. Bill, being a drummer, invariably won in favour of Buddy quoting some seemingly impossible combination of hands, feet and who knows what else but to me, much as I too loved Buddy, I have always loved Blakey's drumming he had so much drive and, most importantly, at the end of the day, in music it's the player that counts whether you're using a basic Baby Dodds' kit or a double bass drum set up like Louie Bellson used as demonstrated yesterday by Josh Duffee.

I remember Bill once saying he'd been to a gig where the drummer (Ginger Baker?) had had so many cymbals, toms etc that he'd have had to have thrown the stick like an Olympic javelin thrower to hit some of them!

Buddy and Blakey never had that problem. This is the Jazz Messengers in one of their many finest hours!

But, at the end of the day, let us remember Jymie Merritt - may he Rest In Peace.
Lance.

PS: I defy anyone listening to Moanin' not to type in time to the record!

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