Format: LP, Vinyl
When it comes to Hard Bop, Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers’ ‘Mosaic’ has few peers. Recorded on 2nd October 1961, it was released in January of the following year. The line-up of Curtis Fuller, Freddie Hubbard and Wayne Shorter on horns, plus Cedar Walton and Jymie Merritt in the rhythm section is robust to say the least. ‘Mosaic’ was the first album to feature this classic sextet. Walton’s impressionistic ‘Mosaic’ begins the album with an Eastern flavour, which permeates throughout. The ensemble work is amazing, and Blakey’s solo is …well thunderous. The first of the Freddie Hubbard tunes ‘Down Under’ is an infectious tune with the three horns sounding great together. All three horn players and the pianist contribute compositions to ‘Mosaic’. The Wayne Shorter penned ‘Children Of The Night’ is another catchy Hard Bop number and is yet another great ensemble performance also with fine solos from all the horns. The Eastern flavour is most prevalent on Curtis Fuller’s ‘Arabia’. This masterpiece is beautifully crafted. The fifth and final track of this five-star album is a version of Freddie Hubbard’s ‘Crisis’. It is a deep running with Walton’s piano and Merritt’s bass giving that depth to the feel. Hubbard takes the lead off solo in his usual rumbustious way. ‘Mosaic’ is collective genius at work, it is one of a few Blue Note sessions where there are no alternative takes, most probably these are all first takes!