The Freedom Rider

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The Freedom Rider
The Freedom Rider.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 1964[1]
RecordedFebruary 12 (#7-8), February 18 (#4), and May 27 (#1-3, 5-6), 1961
StudioVan Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Length54:01 (CD reissue)
LabelBlue Note Records
BST 84156
ProducerAlfred Lion
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers chronology
The Freedom Rider
Roots & Herbs
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars [2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide4/5 stars[3]

The Freedom Rider is an album by jazz drummer Art Blakey and his group the Jazz Messengers. Continuing Blakey's distinct brand of hard bop, this album features contributions from Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Blakey himself, and Kenny Dorham, a former Jazz Messenger. This was the final album by this particular edition of the Jazz Messengers, who had been together for 18 months, as Lee Morgan left after this album to be replaced by a young Freddie Hubbard. The compositions themselves are varied, with Blakey contributing an energetic drum solo on "The Freedom Rider"; at least three of the compositions on the album are blues pieces. "El Toro" features a solo by Shorter incorporating the sheets of sound technique pioneered by John Coltrane. The CD version contains three bonus tracks originally released on the album Pisces.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Tell It Like It Is" (Shorter) – 7:53
  2. "The Freedom Rider" (Blakey) – 7:25
  3. "El Toro" (Shorter) – 6:20
  4. "Petty Larceny" (Morgan) – 6:14
  5. "Blue Lace" (Morgan) – 5:59

Bonus tracks on CD reissue:

  1. "Uptight" (Morgan) – 6:12
  2. "Pisces" (Morgan) – 6:52
  3. "Blue Ching" (Kenny Dorham) – 6:43



  1. ^ Liner notes by Michael Cuscuna to 2015 Japanese SHM-CD reissue
  2. ^ The Freedom Rider at AllMusic
  3. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 25. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.