Art Blakey: The Freedom Rider
The Freedom Rider
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
The Freedom Rider (Blue Note 21287)
Art Blakey (drums).
Composed by Art Blakey.
Recorded: Hackensack, NJ, May 27, 1961
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
"The Freedom Rider" is a 7½-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