John Brown: Children of the Night

John Brown is head of the jazz program at Duke University, and a hard-swinging bassist, as demonstrated on his new CD Terms of Art. This project is a tribute to drummer Art Blakey, and effectively captures the ethos of Blakey's famous band, the Jazz Messengers. Brown and company tackle Wayne Shorter's "Children of the Night," a song recorded by the Jazz Messengers in 1961 and frequently featured on their set lists back in the day. This CD has been getting great airplay for an indie release - heck, there is not even the name of a record company on the disk, just a web site ( - and I can understand why. This is solid hard-bop music, played with consummate skill. Blakey would be pleased.

March 13, 2008 · 0 comments


Wayne Shorter: Children of the Night

"Children Of The Night" appeared frequently on set lists for Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers during Wayne Shorter’s tenure as artistic director in the early to mid-1960s, albeit in a form that bears little resemblance to this 1995 reworking. The album, Shorter’s first for Verve Records, is a heavily engineered session that is a milestone in his transition from almost entirely synthesized efforts in the 1980s to his subsequent work with an acoustic quartet. Bearing the mark of producer Marcus Miller in its backbeat and electric bass- heavy arrangement, the piece is extraordinary in its abstraction on the original melody, carefully crafted orchestral accompaniments and Shorter’s dubbed horn lines and emotional solo statements.

January 18, 2008 · 0 comments


Art Blakey (featuring Wayne Shorter): Children of the Night

Wayne Shorter’s first big career break came when he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1959. He quickly became the group’s musical director, composing and arranging many of the band’s most popular titles from the era. "Children Of The Night" features Shorter’s tenor from the outset with Hubbard and Fuller contributing harmonic accompaniment. At the time, Shorter was often compared to John Coltrane, and he does seem to take a cue from Trane at the beginning of his solo, navigating the changes with dense sheets of sound. That said, Shorter’s sound and conception are fully matured and his wry, often stuttering lines reveal his own original voice.

January 18, 2008 · 1 comment


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