Free for All
Free for All (1964) Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers customer review: "In 1964 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers stepped into Rudy van Gelder's studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and probably melted the inside of the building. With great material and truly special inspiration, they created a record of the most uncompromising, in-your-face hard bop recorded to date. Musical director Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone contributes two high energy originals and probably the best playing of his five year Messengers tenure, Freddie Hubbard contributes the other two tunes, one original and one arrangement, and also blows his brains out on trumpet, Curtis Fuller adds a rich third voice and some great trombone playing, Cedar Walton plays some great and tasteful piano, both in accompaniment and solo, Reggie Workman really pushes the sound of the band into a more advanced rhythmic feel, and Art Blakey of course plays like a man on fire, creating volcanic energy that kicks the band up to a superhuman level. Fine, this description may sound like Leonard Feather-esque hype, but it's really not. This album is incredible."