Free for All (Remastered)

Free for All (Remastered)

Always flush with all-stars, this incarnation of drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers boasted several Hall of Fame players and composers, including saxophonist Wayne Shorter, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, and pianist Cedar Walton. Recorded in 1964, it was the second-to-last album by this legendary sextet, which also featured trombonist Curtis Fuller and double bassist Reggie Workman. The fierce Shorter-penned title track later became part of the Jazz Messenger songbook and features a soaring solo by its author (with sharp comping by Walton) and an incendiary unaccompanied Blakey percussion concerto. The jaunty Shorter number “Hammer Head” is followed by two pieces courtesy of Hubbard: his own “The Core,” a deeply felt burner, and Clare Fischer’s early bossa nova homage “Pensativa,” which he arranged and introduced to the band.

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