Art Blakey Big Band

Art Blakey Big Band (also called Art Blakey's Big Band and Art Blakey and his Drivin' Big Band) is an album by drummer Art Blakey recorded in late 1957 and originally released on the Bethlehem label.[2][3] It differs from typical Art Blakey releases as his regular quintet was expanded to form a big band for these arrangements.

Art Blakey Big Band
Studio album by
ReleasedLast week of January 1959[1]
RecordedDecember, 1957
New York City
GenreJazz, Hard Bop
BCP 6023
ProducerLee Kraft
Art Blakey chronology
Hard Drive
Art Blakey Big Band

In the mid-'90s, and again in the 2000s, this album was repackaged and released under John Coltrane's name, combining it with several songs from Winner's Circle, another album featuring Coltrane and recorded for the Bethlehem label in 1957. This edition is of note as it features several alternate takes which were released here for the first time.


Professional ratings
Review scores
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[5]

Allmusic awarded the album 2½ stars stating "Throughout his long career as a bandleader, drummer Art Blakey very rarely played with big bands. This Bethlehem date was a one-shot affair, an opportunity for his powerful drumming to be heard propelling a 15-piece orchestra through a set of mostly new material".[4]

Track listing

  1. "Midriff" (Gerald Valentine) – 3:17
  2. "Ain't Life Grand" (Al Cohn) – 3:21
  3. "Tippin'" (Donald Byrd) – 6:23
  4. "Pristine" (John Coltrane) – 5:35
  5. "El Toro Valiente" (Charles Gambel, Chiefy Salaam) – 2:43
  6. "The Kiss of No Return" (Gambel, Salaam) – 5:37
  7. "Late Date" (Melba Liston) – 3:33
  8. "The Outer World" (Cohn) – 4:06



  1. Billboard Jan 26, 1959
  2. Art Blakey discography accessed June 5, 2013
  3. Art Blakey chronology accessed June 5, 2013
  4. Yanow, S. Allmusic Review, accessed June 5, 2013
  5. Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 25. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
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