Art Blakey – What Is This Thing Called Love? (1959)

“What Is This Thing Called Love?” is the last track at the album Drums around the Corner by Art Blakey.  It is a  strictly electrifying duet between bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Blakey, composed by Cole Porter. It is together with the second last track, “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” (also a duet between Blakey and Porter), recorded at the Rudy Gelder Studio in Hackensack, NJ, in 1959.

Arthur “Art” Blakey (Okt. 11, 1919 – Oct. 16, 1990), jazz drummer and bandleader. Along with Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, he was one of the inventors of the modern bebop style of drumming. He is known as a powerful musician and vital groover. For more than 30 years his band, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, included many young musicians who went on to become prominent names in jazz. The band´s legacy is thus not only known for the music it produced, but as a proving ground for several generations of jazz musicians. Blakey´s groups are matched only by those of Miles Davis in this regard. Blakey was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame (in 1982), the Grammy Hall of Fame (in 2001), and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

The line up: Art Blakey (drums), Paul Chambers (bass)


The 6 other tracks at the album are recorded in 1958 by Rudy Van Gelder at the Manhattan Towers, NYC. This rare session, finally released in 1999, represents some of the most powerful drumming by Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, and Philly Joe Jones. Gathered together under Blakey’s leadership, these three legendary drummers, conga master Ray Barretto, and Lee Morgan, Bobby Timmons, and Jymie Merritt from the Jazz Messengers all converge into a stunning ensemble unlike any that had come before. Each piece not only offers swinging grooves and dynamic interaction between the musicians, but Blakey, Haynes, Jones, and Barretto each take turns propelling the group and soloing in his own signature way. Blakey’s legendary strength, Haynes’ snap-crackle-pop, and Jones’ melodic invention are all evident as they each produce mesmerizing improvisations, complimenting and topping each other as they go. The focus here is on the primal energy of the drum and its legitimacy as an essential source of music. For drumming fans, there is little left to ask for from this priceless collection.  [source]

The Line up at Moose The Mooche:

Art Blakey (drums), Roy Haynes (drums), Philly Joe Jones (drums), Ray Barretto (congas), Lee Morgan (trumpet), Bobby Timmons (piano) and Jymie Merritt (bass)


One thought on “Art Blakey – What Is This Thing Called Love? (1959)

  1. What an interesting CD – recordings from 1958/9 with Jazz Messengers at their peak form, but performing with no saxophone player. I must look out for this, thanks for posting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s