In May of 1957, Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers went into the studio with Thelonious Monk to record a one-off album for Atlantic. The Jazz Messengers were a loose collective of young Jazz musicians, with a constantly rotating lineup to keep the music fresh and help launch new careers. In this iteration we find Art Blakey on drums, Thelonious Monk on piano, Johnny Griffin on tenor saxophone, Bill Hardman on trumpet and Spanky DeBrest on bass.
Blakey had recorded with Monk on various occasions, but this was the first time Monk sat in with the Jazz Messengers. This also marks Thelonious Monk’s only appearance on Atlantic Records. The result is a true meeting of the minds, a beautiful union of Monk’s melodies with Blakey’s unshakable sense of swing. This 65thAnniversary deluxe edition includes an extra disc of unreleased outtakes, celebrating the most sensational jazz collaboration of the 1950s.