Drummer extraordinaire Art Blakey (1919-1990) was justifiably known for leading a succession of blazing small bands that spotlighted what would amount to a post-bop ball of fame. These 1973 performances, with trumpeter-composer Woody Shaw (1944-1989) and pianist-composer Cedar Walton (b. 1934) among the featured players, comprise as stylistically variegated a program as Blakey ever recorded. There's classic bop, modal navigations, percussion discussions, a piano trio feature, Latin grooves, Messengers classics older ("Moanin'," "Along Came Betty") and newer ("Fantasy in D" aka "Ugetsu" and the title track). There's also a previously unissued cut ("Siempre Mi Amor") and a playful guest vocal by Jon Hendricks on "Along Came Betty."
Gertrude's Bounce, Siempre Mi Amor, Mission Eternal , Moanin', A Chant for Bu, One for Trane, Along Came Betty (instrumental), Along Came Betty (vocal), Without a Song; Love: For the One You Can't Have; Fantasy in D
with Woody Shaw, Carter Jefferson, Cedar Walton, Mickey Bass, Tony Waters, Jon Hendricks, Steve Turre, Michael Howell