Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk

Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk is a studio album released in 1958[1] on Atlantic Records, catalogue SD 1278. It is a collaboration between the Jazz Messengers, the group led by drummer Art Blakey, and special guest Thelonious Monk on piano. The album is the only time Monk recorded for the Atlantic label.

Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk
Studio album by
RecordedMay 14–15, 1957
ProducerNesuhi Ertegün
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers chronology
Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk
Hard Drive
Thelonious Monk chronology
Mulligan Meets Monk
Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk
Thelonious in Action
Professional ratings
Review scores
Penguin Guide to Jazz
(Crown award)[3]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[4]


Throughout the preceding decade, on sessions for both Blue Note and Riverside, Blakey had supported Monk on various occasions. Monk returned the favor on this one-off session for Atlantic. Blakey was on the verge of beginning a long-term contract with Blue Note, while Monk was in the middle of his stay on Riverside.

One month after these recordings, Monk would begin his summer and autumn residency at the Five Spot on Cooper Square after regaining his cabaret card, without which he had been barred from playing in most of New York City's clubs. Monk's quartet featuring John Coltrane at that residency would bring Monk fame beyond the inner circle of jazz aficionados. Atlantic released this album over a year after it was recorded, thereby capitalizing on Monk's increased visibility.


Billboard in 1958 gave the album three stars out of four, stating that it has some "mighty good jazz".[2] AllMusic gave the album a four-star rating out of a possible five stars, with writer Lindsay Planer noting that "both co-leaders are at the peak of their respective prowess with insightful interpretations of nearly half a dozen inspired performances from this incarnation of the Blakey-led Jazz Messengers."[1] The Penguin Guide to Jazz assigned its "crown" accolade to the album.[3]

On February 16, 1999, Rhino Records reissued the album remastered for compact disc. Three bonus tracks were included, all outtakes from the May 1957 sessions.

Track listing

Side one

1."Evidence"Thelonious Monk6:46
2."In Walked Bud"Thelonious Monk6:39
3."Blue Monk"Thelonious Monk7:54

Side two

1."I Mean You"Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins8:02
2."Rhythm-A-Ning"Thelonious Monk7:20
3."Purple Shades"Johnny Griffin7:48

1999 bonus tracks

7."Evidence (alternate take)"Thelonious Monk5:30
8."Blue Monk (alternate take)"Thelonious Monk6:59
9."I Mean You (alternate take)"Thelonious Monk7:34


Additional personnel

  • Nesuhi Ertegünproduction
  • Earl Brown – recording engineering
  • Bob Carlton, Patrick Milligan – reissue supervision
  • Dan Hersch – digital remastering


  1. Planer, Lindsay "Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk: review" AllMusic Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  2. "Reviews and ratings of new jazz records" (May 12, 1958) Billboard, p. 23.
  3. Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-14-103401-0.
  4. Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 23. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
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