Art Blakey was one of the greatest of all jazz drummers, a masterful talent scout and the inspiring leader of the Jazz Messengers. For 35 years (1955-90), the Jazz Messengers featured brilliant young talent who were pushed by Blakey to write new music and play at their very best. One certainly could not coast with Blakey’s explosive drumming constantly egging on the players. The who’s who of jazz passed through Blakey’s band for several generations, with everyone from Freddie Hubbard and Wynton Marsalis to Benny Golson and Horace Silver benefiting from the hard-swinging experience. But few lineups could compete with the 1960 edition of the Jazz Messengers featured on The Big Beat. Blakey, the “old man” of the band at 30, is joined by bassist Jymie Merritt and three brilliant stylists who were not only exciting soloists but very skilled songwriters: trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor-saxophonist Wayne Shorter and pianist Bobby Timmons. The Big Beat introduces Timmons’ “Dat Dere” (which practically defines soul jazz) and Shorter’s “Lester Left Town” (a tribute to Lester Young) and includes an inventive version of “It’s Only A Paper Moon” along with a few other lesser-known but colorful pieces. This is hard bop at its finest from one of the most immortal jazz groups of all time.

"When I listened to the Audio Wave XRCD release of [AWMXR0008] Lee Morgan - Tomcat I was awestruck. My conclusion was that rather than comparing digital to analog, a more logical conclusion was that the entire digital vs. analog debate becomes irrelevant when listening to a recording that is so far superior to anything that has come before it. My analog setup costs six times what my digital one does, but given the same Blue Note title on LP or XRCD I'd choose the XRCD each time. I question the motive of any writer who claims that there is an LP re-issue that equals the sound you all are achieving." 

"I recently purchased three more Audio Wave Blue Note titles and the sound on each of them is really stunning. The clarity (without any brightness), dynamics, instrumental timbres and subtlety that I hear in these performances is amazing. You can really hear the emotion and intent of the performers in a way I have not experienced with my Blue Note records before, be it an original pressing, RVG remaster or one of the 45 rpm re- issues from other labels. When playing [AWMXR0010] Horace Silver- Cape Verdean Blues over the weekend, my mom (who was visiting from out of town) and daughter actually came in the room and started dancing around. Its magic on a silver disc."