- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: March 14, 2006
- Originally Released: 2001
- Label: Collectables Records
- Original Album #1: VIK LX 1115 (1958)
- Original Album #2: VIK LX 1103 (1957)
Description by OLDIES.com:
These two late '50s albums, originally recorded for RCA, contain historical liner notes and memorable songs such as "A Night In Tunisia," "I Could Have Danced All Night," and "On The Street Where You Live." The pairing is one of our must-have reissues.
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.A Night In Tunisia
- 2.Off The Wall
- 3.Theory Of Art
- 4.Couldn't It Be You?
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.I Could Have Danced All Night
- 2.On The Street Where You Live
- 3.There But For You Go I
- 4.They Call The Wind Maria
- 5.I Talk To The Trees
- 6.Almost Like Being In Love
2 LPs On 2 CDs: A NIGHT IN TUNISIA (1958)/PLAY LERNER & LOEWE (1957).
Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers: Art Blakey (drums); Johnny Griffin (tenor saxophone); Bill Hardman (trumpet); Bill Dockery (piano); Jimmy DEBrest (bass).
Originally released on VIK (1115) & VIK (1103).
Personnel: Art Blakey (drums); John Griffin (tenor); Bill Hardman (trumpet).
Liner Note Author: Dom Cerulli.
In the mid-'50s, before critics deemed him a jazz institution, Art Blakey was busy making great music. Along with his Jazz Messengers, he delivered hard bop and gave dozens of players a chance to learn the business. This two-disc collection represents two solid sets, Play Lerner and Loewe from 1957 and A Night in Tunisia (not to be confused with two later Blakey albums of the same name) from 1958. The personnel are similar for both dates, with tenor Johnny Griffin, trumpeter Bill Hardman, pianist Sam Dockery, and bassist Jimmy DeBrest joining Blakey. Play Lerner and Loewe kicks off with an up-tempo version of "I Could Have Danced All Night," a four-minute romp that allows each soloist to play at breakneck speed and basically forget about the melody. This joyous abandon spills over into the remainder of the album. Griffin and Hardman toss off a series of sparkling exchanges at the beginning of "There But for You Go I," followed by a lively, extended solo by Dockery. Play Lerner and Loewe finishes with "Almost Like Being in Love," a piece filled with rapid horn ascents and backed by Blakey and DeBrest's steady, demanding rhythm. The highlight of A Night in Tunisia is the title track, a joyful 12-minute take on Gillespie's classic piece of Latin-tinged bop. This track, and the album, is also livened up by the presence of altoist Ferris Bender. Because of their similar personnel and approach, Play Lerner and Loewe and A Night in Tunisia make a good match. Both albums find Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in superb form, offering the listener a double dose of hard bop delivered with pizzazz. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr.