Blue Note To Release Lost Art Blakey Album In August

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On March 8th, 1959, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers went into Rudy Van Gelder’s New Jersey recording studio and cut six tracks intended for the group’s next Blue Note album. But the label’s founder, producer Alfred Lion, elected to shelve the album, which was originally intended as the follow-up to their classic LP, ‘Moanin’.’  The reason for Lion’s decision is not known though it’s possible that he canned the March studio session because he preferred a live recording made by the same line-up of The Messengers a few weeks later at Birdland, which included versions of five of the lost album’s six studio cuts (it resulted in a two-volume album called ‘At The Jazz Corner Of The World’).

The album, titled ‘Just Coolin’,’ was originally scheduled for a 24th April release by Blue Note but doe to the coronavirus crisis has been put back until 7th August.  The Messengers’ line-up is a strong one, with tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley (who had come in to replace the departing Benny Golson), trumpeter Lee Morgan, pianist Bobby Timmons, bassist, the late Jymie Merritt, and on drums, of course, Art Blakey. The set includes three Mobley tunes – including the title song – and one from Timmons (“Quick Trick,” which is available to download or stream now).

‘Just Coolin” can be pre-ordered now in several formats: CD, digital download, and an all-analogue 180g vinyl pressing that was mastered by Kevin Gray.