A Night at Birdland Vol. 1

A Night at Birdland Vol. 1 is a 1954 release by jazz artist Art Blakey, and a quintet which featured Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson, Horace Silver and Curly Russell. It was first released by Blue Note Records as a 10" LP (BLP 5037) and then as a 12" LP (BLP 1521) containing material from the second 10" album. It was reissued for the first time on CD in 1987 with two additional tracks (an alternate take of Wee-Dot and an improvisational piece titled Blues), previously released on a 2 LP Compilation in 1975 called Live Messengers (BN-LA473-J2). The CD was reissued again in 2001 as an "RVG Edition" remastered by Rudy Van Gelder with the tracks in a different order. The 1987 CD used the second 12" LP cover, the 2001 CD revived the original 10" LP cover.[2]

A Night at Birdland Vol. 1
Live album by
ReleasedJuly 1954 (10")
August 1956 (12")[1]
RecordedFebruary 21, 1954
VenueBirdland, New York City
GenreJazz, hard bop
LabelBlue Note
ProducerAlfred Lion
Art Blakey chronology
New Sounds
A Night at Birdland Vol. 1
A Night at Birdland Vol. 2
Original 12" cover
Second 12" cover

All of the music surfaced as part of a Clifford Brown box set for Mosaic Records (MR5-104) and a complete Clifford Brown set put out by Capitol has also appeared.

The recording was produced by Alfred Lion and engineered by Rudy Van Gelder for Blue Note. The reissues were produced by Michael Cuscuna. The spoken announcement by Pee Wee Marquette is sampled in the US3 song "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)"

Track listing

10" LP

Side 1
1."Announcement by Pee Wee Marquette" 0:58
2."Split Kick"Horace Silver8:44
Side 2
1."Once in a While"Bud GreenMichael Edwards5:18
2."Quicksilver" Horace Silver6:58

12" LP

Side 1
1."Announcement by Pee Wee Marquette"  0:58
2."Split Kick" Horace Silver8:44
3."Once in a While"Bud GreenMichael Edwards5:18
4."Quicksilver" Horace Silver6:58
Side 2
1."A Night in Tunisia" (Originally released on A Night at Birdland Vol. 2 [BLP 5038])Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Paparelli9:20
2."Mayreh" (Originally released on A Night at Birdland Vol. 2 [BLP 5038])Horace Silver6:19
Total length:37:37

CD Reissues


Art Blakey Quintet:


  • Bob Bluementhal, Leonard Feather — liner notes
  • Michael Cuscuna — reissue producer
  • John Hermansader or Reid Miles — cover design
  • Alfred Lion — producer
  • Ron McMaster — digital transfers (1987)
  • Rudy Van Gelder — engineer, mastering (1954 and 2001)
  • Francis Wolff — photography


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic link
Penguin Guide to Jazz
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[4]

The two albums that were released from the Birdland sessions are considered by The Penguin Guide to Jazz to be part of their "core collection." A reviewer for allaboutjazz.com said simply that "Blakey and company had clicked that night at Birdland."[5] Allmusic mentions that, on this first album, "all of the participants [are] in inspired form. Classic bop."[6]


  1. Billboard Sep 1, 1956
  2. A Night at Birdland Vol. 1 at Discogs (list of releases)
  3. Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 25. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  4. Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  5. Michael Fortuna. "A Night At Birdland, Vols. 1 and 2". Retrieved 2006-12-31.
  6. Scott Yanow. "A Night at Birdland, Vol. 1". Retrieved 2006-12-31.
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