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I Get a Kick Out of Bu

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

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Album Review

Even after heading the Jazz Messengers for over three decades, drummer Art Blakey kept true to his original vision, using the band as a forum for talented young players to swing hard and grow rapidly. Certainly his crop of players in 1988 (which included trumpeter Philip Harper, trombonist Robin Eubanks, tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson and pianist Benny Green) could compete favorably with many of his earlier bands. This Soul Note release, which includes a nine-minute drum solo by the leader, mostly sticks to inventive reworkings of standards along with a song apiece from Eubanks and Harper. Excellent music.

Biography

Born: 11 October 1919 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

In the '60s, when John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman were defining the concept of a jazz avant-garde, few knowledgeable observers would have guessed that in another 30 years the music's mainstream would virtually bypass their innovations, in favor of the hard bop style that free jazz had apparently supplanted. As it turned out, many listeners who had come to love jazz as a sophisticated manifestation of popular music were unable to accept the extreme esotericism of the avant-garde; their tastes were...
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