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A Night at Birdland (1954) A
For all my Max Roach praise, Art Blakey’s performance on the Night at Birdland collection may rank equal to the best that Roach ever recorded. Clifford Brown, too, delivers passionate solos that are among the trumpeter’s signature works. Yet the proceedings are anchored by Horace Silver, the pianist who pens the concert’s two best tracks — “Split Kick” and “Quicksilver.” Like Jazz at Massey Hallor Ellington at Newport, Art Blakey’s Night at Birdland captures a rarified live atmosphere that translates perfectly to record.