At the Cafe Bohemia, Vol. 1

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At the Cafe Bohemia, Vol. 1
At the Cafe Bohemia, Vol 1.jpg
Live album by The Jazz Messengers
Released Early April 1956[1]
Recorded November 23, 1955
Venue Cafe Bohemia, New York City
Genre Hardbop
Length 41:54 (original LP)
64:48 (CD reissue)
Label Blue Note Records
BLP 1507
Producer Alfred Lion
The Jazz Messengers chronology
Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers
At the Cafe Bohemia, Vol. 1
At the Cafe Bohemia, Vol. 2

At the Cafe Bohemia, Vol. 1 is a live album by the Jazz Messengers for Blue Note Records. It featured the original incarnation of the Jazz Messengers, Art Blakey's career-spanning band, and is the first of two volumes recorded on November 23, 1955 at Café Bohemia, a famous night club in Greenwich Village in New York.

With the July 31, 2001 CD re-issue, three additional tracks from this night were added: "Lady Bird", "Deciphering the Message", and "What's New?".


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [2]
Penguin Guide to Jazz3.5/4 stars[citation needed]

This album, which sees the first version of The Jazz Messengers on record, was noted as not "match[ing] the intensity which the quintet secured at Birdland."[3] Tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, in particular, is noted as "a somewhat unfocused stylist."[3] However, trumpeter Kenny Dorham is seen as an "elusive brilliance [that] was seldom so extensively captured" and the playing in general "is just as absorbing" as the Birdland albums and is "still timeless music."[3][4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. Announcement by Art Blakey 1:32
  2. "Soft Winds" 12:34
  3. "The Theme" 6:11
  4. "Minor's Holiday" 9:11
  5. "Alone Together" 4:15
  6. "Prince Albert" 8:51
  7. "Lady Bird" (reissue bonus track) 7:30
  8. "What's New?" (reissue bonus track) 4:31
  9. "Deciphering the Message" (reissue bonus track) 10:13



  • Bob Bluementhal, Leonard Feather — liner notes
  • Michael Cuscuna — reissue producer
  • John Hermansader — cover design
  • Alfred Lion — producer
  • Rudy Van Gelder — digital remastering
  • Francis Wolff — photography


  1. ^ Billboard Apr 14, 1956
  2. ^ Nastos, Michael G.. At the Cafe Bohemia, Vol. 1 at AllMusic
  3. ^ a b c Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2004). The Penguin Guide to Jazz (7th Edition). Penguin Books. p. 153. ISBN 0-14-101416-4. 
  4. ^ Scott Yanow. "At the Cafe Bohemia, Vol. 1". Retrieved 2006-11-26.