Article number: 101701
Art Blakey was a rhythmic volcano. There were times when Art played with such fire he almost drummed you off the stage, recalled his long-time companion Freddie Hubbard. But when Blakey appeared with his Jazz Messengers at the Sängerhalle Untertürkheim on July 15, 1978 the volcano triggered a medium-scale earthquake. This is the band with which Blakey set neo bop on fire and gave a new lease of life to the triplet pulse of swing. Surrounded by musicians two generations younger than himself, the 55-year-old ignites a type of music that explodes with vitality and finds as much pleasure in grooving as it does in the intellect of swing. Blakeys young musicians bring spirit to the band, while the drummer inspires his co-musicians to express their emotions in quite extraordinary ways. Tenor saxophonist David Schnitter (Mishima), pianist James Williams (1997 A.D.) and alto saxophonist Bobby Watson (Hawk Man) all contribute compositions of their own, injecting contemporary dynamism into Blakeys hard bop world alongside Messengers hits such as Moanin. Dont play yesterdays trash, play todays thoughts and emotions, Blakey would say before going on stage with his Jazz Messengers. This much is certain: had it not been for the Messengers, Wynton Marsalis would still be playing classical études.