Art Blakey & Les Jazz-Messengers – Au Club Saint-Germain / Vol. 2
Vinyl LP, Stereo Reissue, France
The grooves here are hard to deny, and the beauty of this recording is that it is done at one of Boris Vian's haunts in the Saint-Germain des Prés. The intimacy of the music with the crowd noise really puts you in a checkered table with a bottle of wine – and why I imagine that is probably from various episodes of Peter Gunn where Gunn sits at “Mother's” the jazz club in that TV show. I just imagine all jazz clubs looking like “Mother's.”
I don't know who Hazel is, but the fact “Moanin' With Hazel” she must have been or is quite a gal. The sensuality of that track rubs off the turntable into your hips and beyond. Of all the great Blakey albums that are out there, and god knows I haven't heard every one (at this time), Au Club Saint-Germain is my favorite, just due to the time of its recording (1959) and it has such a distinctive nightclub sound. And the playing is extremely tight, yet loose. Besides Blakey there's Bobby Timmons on piano, Jymie Merrit on bass, Benny Golson on tenor sax, and the great trumpet player Lee Morgan.