The last few years have proven to be a golden age of “new” (i.e., recorded long ago, but never before heard) albums by departed jazz giants. To the list of new revelations from John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, and Thelonious Monk, we can now add Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, whose unreleased 1959 session Just Coolin’ will be released April 24 on Blue Note Records.
One track from that session, “Quick Trick,” comes out for stream and download today.
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s Hackensack studio on March 8, 1959, the Just Coolin’ session finds drummer Blakey fronting one of his greatest Messengers lineups: trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, bassist Jymie Merritt, and pianist Bobby Timmons. Its six tracks include three Mobley tunes (“Hipsippy Blues,” “M&M,” and “Just Coolin’”); a standard, Bernice Petkere’s “Close Your Eyes”; and Timmons’ “Quick Trick,” which, along with the anonymous “Jimerick,” is a previously unissued composition.
The album was produced for the new release by acclaimed archivist and producer Zev Feldman and will be available as a CD, digital download, and an all-analog 180g vinyl pressing mastered by Kevin Gray.
Just Coolin’ is the sixth in an ongoing series of Blue Note releases in commemoration of Blakey’s centennial. (The legendary drummer and bandleader was born Oct. 11, 1919 in Pittsburgh, and died Oct. 16, 1990 in New York.) Remasters of Blakey and the Jazz Messengers’ albums Meet You at the Jazz Corner of the World Vols. 1 and 2 (1960), Buhaina’s Delight (1961), The Freedom Rider (1961), and Indestructible (1964) are currently available. A seventh re-release, 1961’s Roots & Herbs, is due September 25.
For more information, visit Blue Note’s website.