Album:Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk
This is a 1958 one off album with legendary pianist Thelonious Monk sitting in on an Art Blakey recording session. It was the only time these two jazz giants would record together. The Jazz Messengers started out as a band led by Art Blakey and Horace Silver. Blakey took over in 1956. The band on this 1958 album was the second version of The Jazz Messengers after Blakey took over. They first recorded together on the 1957 Columbia album Hard Bop. The musicians were Bill Hardman on trumpet, Jackie McLean on alto sax, Sam Dockery on piano and Jimmy "Spanky" DeBrest on bass. After McLean signed a solo deal with Blue Note he was replaced by tenor sax player Johnny Griffin. That's the band on this album of course with Monk replacing Dockery. It was recorded in 1957 right after Monk got his cabaret card back and he was able to perform in New York clubs again. He had a band with John Coltrane at the time. Blakey helped Monk on numerous occasions. So in return Blakey asked Monk to record this one off session for Atlantic Records. Most of the songs are Monk standards including Rhythm-A-Ning which was first recorded on the 1957 album with Gerry Mulligan called Mulligan Meets Monk. Rhino released this album on CD adding some bonus alternate takes. It's available as a budget CD. Soon after this Blakey signed with Blue Note and he formed an all new Jazz Messengers featuring Lee Morgan and Benny Golson. Coltrane left Monk for Miles Davis and Johnny Griffin joined Monk's new band. Blakey and Monk never recorded together again. Here's a video of Rhythm-A-Ning by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk.