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The Jazz Messengers represents possibly the most significant dynasty in the whole of jazz. Beginning in the early 50s as a collective of boundary-pushing musicians, they were a force to be reckoned with all the way up to 1990, when founding drummer and long-time leader, Art Blakey, passed away. A prolific musician outside the Messengers, Blakey made a name for himself in the bebop era, working with luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker. Yet, it was the fountain of youth that drew his interest, and the Messengers acted as a wellspring that kept on producing. Blakey said of the collective: "Yes sir, I'm gonna to stay with the youngsters. When these get too old, I'm gonna get some younger ones. Keeps the mind active."
Thursday, February 29, 2024