Art Blakey (Drums)
“First Flight To Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings” captures previously unreleased recordings from January 14, 1961 at Tokyo’s Hibiya Public Hall of drumming legend Art Blakey with the classic Jazz Messengers lineup of Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons and Jymie Merritt, documenting the band’s first highly anticipated tour to Japan.
Re-transferred from the original ¼” tape reels. The limited edition 2-LP 180-gram set and deluxe 2-CD edition come with lavish booklets featuring rare photos by Japanese photographers Shunji Okura and Hozumi Nakadaira from the Blakey family’s personal archives, as well as images from the original 1961 Japanese tour program; a historical essay by renowned jazz critic Bob Blumenthal; plus new interviews with jazz icon Wayne Shorter in conversation with Blue Note president Don Was; acclaimed Blue Note saxophonist Lou Donaldson; Japanese jazz star Sadao Watanabe; renowned Japanese music critic Reiko Yukawa; Art Blakey’s son Takashi Blakey; and a trio of drumming greats: Louis Hayes, Billy Hart and Cindy Blackman Santana.
“First Flight To Tokyo” was co-produced by Zev Feldman and trumpeter David Weiss.