Blue Note will issue a never-before-released studio album by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Just Coolin’, on 17 July. It was recorded on 8 March 1959 in the Hackensack, New Jersey studio of feted recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder.
Blakey was joined on the session by a short-lived line-up of the Jazz Messengers that also featured Lee Morgan on trumpet, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, pianist Bobby Timmons and bassist Jymie Merritt. The opening track from the LP, ‘Hipsippy Blues,’ is now available to stream or download. Just Coolin’ can be pre-ordered now in a variety of formats: CD, digital download, and an all-analog 180 gram vinyl pressing mastered by Kevin Gray.
It was only five weeks after the studio session that Blue Note founder and producer Alfred Lion took the decision to record the Jazz Messengers again. That took place on 15 April 1959 at the famous New York club Birdland. The assured live recording included four of the six titles that had been taped at the studio date in March. Later that year, when Lion instead released the two-volume live album Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers At The Jazz Corner Of The World, the Birdland sessions superseded the studio date.
“Morgan, Mobley and Timmons in their prime”
In the liner notes for Just Coolin’, Bob Blumenthal writes: “In 2020, it’s great to find more Morgan, Mobley and Timmons in their prime. The music had clearly settled in during the month that separated studio and live versions, but the fire of these six tracks has an appeal of its own.”
Blue Note is celebrating the legacy of Art Blakey, the 100th anniversary of whose birth was 11 October 2019, with a series of previously unreleased recordings, vinyl reissues, and the spotlight playlist Art Blakey: The Finest.
These titles include Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Indestructible (Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition); Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Meet You at the Jazz Corner of the World, Vol. 1 and Meet You at the Jazz Corner of the World, Vol. 2 (Blue Note 80 Vinyl Editions); and Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers Buhaina’s Delight (Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition), all out now.
A Vinyl Me, Please exclusive of Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers The Freedom Rider has already sold out. Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers Roots & Herbs (Tone Poet Vinyl Edition), an all-analog 180 gram vinyl pressing in deluxe gatefold packaging of the 1961 album, will be released on 30 October.
Just Coolin’ is released on 17 July. Pre-order it here.
The full Just Coolin’ tracklist is:
1. ‘Hipsippy Blues’ (Hank Mobley)
2. ‘Close Your Eyes’ (Bernice Petkere)
3. ‘Jimerick’ (unknown)
1. ‘Quick Trick’ (Bobby Timmons)
2. ‘M&M’ (Hank Mobley)
3. ‘Just Coolin’’ (Hank Mobley)