Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers – A Midnight Session

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A Midnight Session is a live album by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers originally released on the Elektra label in 1957. The album masters were sold to Savoy and re-released as Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in 1960 and Mirage in 1977.

“In the fall of 1956, Blakey introduced a new edition of the Jazz Messengers with Jackie McLean (alto), Bill Hardman (trumpet), Sam Dockery (piano) and Spanky DeBrest(bass). Over the next 25 years Blakey’s bands would go through many personnel changes (sometimes it seems as if everyone in jazz has worked with Art) but the hard bop sound of this prototypical unit became the model for all of Art’s aggregations. Originally released on the Savoy label, Midnight Session is another in a series of Savoy reissues by Denon Records. Through the use of a unique 20-bit mastering process Denon has managed to capture and enhance the sound of one of jazz’s most vibrant eras. Blakey and his “boys” swing through a six song set of bop that, while containing no jazz “classics,” gives the listener a nice taste of the genre. Art’s forceful drumming often brought out the best in his sidemen and in this case Hardman and McLean respond with youthful vigor. He may have lead “stronger” lineups in the future but this is still high art from Blakey!” – All About Jazz (

Track listing:
1 Casino (Gigi Gryce) 5:00
2 The Biddie Griddies (Ray Draper) 5:59
3 Potpourri (Mal Waldron) 4:23
4 Ugh! (Ray Draper) 5:35
5 Mirage (Mal Waldron) 4:43
6 Reflections Of Buhainia (Ray Draper) 10:59

Jackie McLean – alto saxophone
Spanky DeBrest – bass
Art Blakey – drums
Sam Dockery – piano
Bill Hardman -trumpet


Released: 1957
Recorded: March 8 & 9, 1957
Venue: Carl Fischer Concert Hall, New York City
Genre Hard bop
Label: Elektra
Producer: Jac Holzman