Review by eletourn March 23, 2007 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
|Solid performance of the Jazz Messengers. Most tracks are uptempo bop and the playing is very skillful. Hubbard on trumpet is nineteen and exuberant. Shorter on tenor sax is now a veteran in the band honing his skills at writing which will bloom a couple of years later with Miles Davis 2nd great Quintet. Art Blakey as a drummer/leader has been using this formula of discovering young talents and providing them a platform to jazz stardom all his career.
The sound of the stereo SACD layer is excellent in details and clarity. The piano and the bass are recorded somewhat thin and compressed which is not that unusual for this era (1962). The microphone seaparation is very radical with trombone, piano and bass hard left, drums and tenor sax hard right and trumpet dead center but for track 1 where it is hard left. This radical panning prevents any real chance at creating a realistic soundstage and can also become annoying when listenning on headphones. I never had this on LP or CD but reviews of the 1987 CD reissue seems to indicate the same mix.
If this is your introduction to Art Blakey on SACD I recommend you start with Keystone 3 which is live, better recorded and has an MCH layer available. If you love this album then I would be very surprised that there is a better sounding version out there.
1. Caravan 9:44 (Tizol-Ellington)
2. Sweet 'N' Sour (take 4) 5:26 (Shorter ) *
3. Sweet 'N' Sour 5:28 (Shorter)
4. In The Wee, Small Hours Of The Morning 4:01 (Hilliard-Mann)
5. This Is For Albert 8:15 (Shorter)
6. Skylark 4:45 (Carmichael-Mercer)
7. Thermo (take 2) 7:24 (Hubbard) *
8. Thermo 6:44 (Hubbard)
* Bonus tracks
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