Art Blakey Music on Blue Note Records

SKF NOTE: My music library has all the albums featured in this August 1960 magazine advertisement – and more!

I remember, back in the early 1970s, while working as a clerk at Sam Goody’s in the Walt Whitman Shopping Mall, Huntington, NY, studying Blakey’s “Roots and Herbs” album cover. The great photo caught my eye, but I’d never heard Art Blakey.

“Is Art Blakey any good?” I asked Allen, a fellow clerk. Wrinkling his nose and shrugging his shoulders, Allen gave me his non-verbal, “Eh, Blakey’s so-so.”

But, looking at records in a bin directly across from me, a customer said, “Art Blakey is one of the great jazz drummers.” Emphasis on the word great.

The customer was right. Allen was wrong.

This 1960s ad reminds me of Blakey’s drum artistry, his exceptional bands, his great work on other musicians’ records, and the joyful education I get with each listen of a Blakey record.

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