Art Blakey: The Freedom Rider


The Freedom Rider


Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers


The Freedom Rider (Blue Note 21287)

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Art Blakey (drums).

Composed by Art Blakey


Recorded: Hackensack, NJ, May 27, 1961


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

"The Freedom Rider" is a 7-minute unaccompanied drum solo from the final record made by the Shorter/Morgan/Timmons/Merritt installment of the Jazz Messengers. Blakey strictly adheres to his solo formula here, laying down his signature Latin-inspired ride cymbal/tom groove and alternating it with tom-and-snare based improvisations. One could almost imagine that Blakey is playing along to a Messengers track here and only the drums were recorded his extended solo statement is essentially a song-oriented composition. For this reason, "The Freedom Rider" is an essential addition to the Blakey discography, giving listeners a glimpse into the entire range of Blakey's playing without distraction.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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