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Art Blakey

Arthur "Art" Blakey (October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990) is an American Jazz drummer/bandleader, best known for his work with the Jazz Messengers.

Along with Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, Blakey is recognized as one of the inventors of the modern bebop style of drumming. As one will notice when listening to Blakey, he's a powerful musician and groover, serving up his own brand of bluesy, funky hard bop which was and still remains a strong influence in mainstream jazz. For over 30 years Blakey's band, the Jazz Messengers, made a point to always include young musicians, many of whom went on to become prominent names in jazz.

Because of Blakey's policy of encouraging young musicians, the Jazz Messenger's personnel was constantly changing. This would clearly work to his advantage, which he also seemed to have known early on in his career. On-mike back in 1954, Blakey stated ""I'm gonna stay with the youngsters. When these get too old I'll get some younger ones. Keeps the mind active."

After surviving the 70's fusion era, Art Blakey put together a new group of Jazz Messengers in the early 80's to coincide with the arrival of neotraditionalist jazz. This new Jazz Messengers, as seen in this 1982 live performance recorded at 7th Avenue South (New York City), features bandleader Winton Marsalis (tr), Branford Marsalis (sx), Billy Pierce (sx), Donald Brown (pn), Charles Fambrough (bs), and Art Blakey (dr).


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