Full performer name: Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers.
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: Art Blakey (drums); Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Cedar Walton (piano); Jymie Merritt (bass).
Recorded on October 2, 1961. Includes liner notes by Leonard Feather.
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet) and Wayne Shorter (saxophone) are joined by Curtis Fuller's trombone to expand Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers to a sextet for MOSAIC. The result is a huge sound that is powerfully propelled by Blakey's forceful drumming. The deep, soulful grooves here support complex ensemble arrangements with concise solo spots for the horns and pianist Cedar Walton. In all, this is classic '60s era Messengers in their prime.
Although Shorter was the group's musical director and chief contributor of new material during his tenure, Hubbard, Walton and Fuller each offer excellent compositions on this outing. Walton's boisterous "Mosaic" gets the opening slot and is a quintessential Messengers number. Blakey's trademark shuffle groove highlights Hubbard's gospel-flavored "Down Under" before the sextet gears up for Shorter's masterful "Children Of The Night," one of his most dynamic compositions that gets a spirited reading here. Fuller's minor "Arabia" is a hard swinging track that captures the Middle Eastern flavor of its namesake. Finally, Hubbard's intricate "Crisis" is a stunning arrangement that offers alternating passages of reflective horn harmonies and banging accents for a hard bopping grand finale.
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