Personnel: Art Blakey (drums); Robert Watson (alto saxophone); David Schnitter (tenor saxophone); Valery Ponomarev (trumpet); James Williams (piano); Dennis Irwin (bass).
Recorded live at Keystone Korner, San Francisco, California in May 1978. Includes liner notes by Herb Wong.
IN THIS KORNER is a live performance of one of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers' late '70s transitional lineups. The location of the set is of special note--it's San Francisco's famed Keystone Korner, in its time the Birdland of the West Coast.
Blakey begins the set in his usual manner, wowing the crowd with a powerful solo to awaken the spirits of the music. As in most editions of the Messengers, there is no shortage of fine soloists as Bobby Watson, Valery Ponomarev and James Williams each offer excellent improvisations from the outset. Williams' compositions "Unlimited," "1977 A.D." and the swinging title cut offer some of the most spirited work from the entire ensemble. Also included is this edition's sizzling interpretation of the classic "The Song Is You," which features another startling opening solo by the master drummer and commanding work by Williams. It's fortunate that this timeless group was so well documented.