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Art Blakey

One of my favorite bebop drummers are Art Blakey , most famous as the leader of the Jazz Messengers, a hard driving player who along with Max Roach and Kenny Clarke invented bebop drumming.artblakey In The 40’s he worked with Mary Lou Williams, Fletcher Henderson, and Billy Eckstine. By the late 40’s he was backing such greats as  Miles Davis, Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. His famous group started with him as co-leader along with Horace Silver, they were known as “The Art Blakey Quintet” along with Lou Donaldson, Curley Russell, and the new young trumpet sensation Clifford Brown. The February 1954 Blue Note 2 vol. set A Night In Birdland is a classic and a great place to start to collect this artist. Another classic from him and this great group is Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk a 1957 “Atlantic” recording. Blakey recorded extensively with an ever changing lineup. He had a policy of encouraging young players and many played in his group, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Hank Mobley, Kenny Dorham. and many more. He was quoted on his “Night in Birdland” album as saying “I’m gonna stay with the youngsters. When these get too old I’ll get some younger ones. Keeps the mind active.”


  1. April 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Art Blakey playing together with Thelonious Monk is one of the greates jazz recordings of all time. Wish I’ve had the chance to see them playing live!

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