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Video: The Jazz Messengers, 1959

Bret Primack, aka the Jazz Video Guy, dropped these two gems on the Internets recently. Here's Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers circa 1959 with the front line of Lee Morgan on trumpet (age 21) and Wayne Shorter on tenor sax (age 26). Walter Davis, Jr. is on piano and Jymie Merritt is the bassist.


[Jaw hits floor.]


Even had I not known this was Art Blakey, I like to think I would have guessed the drummer was the bandleader. Who else plays with so much palpable authority?

And yes, these have spotted on YouTube before. But the quality is somewhere between noticeably and greatly improved here. Plus, the auxiliary percussion and the fever pitch cadenzas on "A Night In Tunisia"? Yikes.