BEST OF ALBERTA SERIES
Craig Brenan – trombone
Eric Weiden – trumpet
Jerrold Dubyk – saxophone
Chris Andrew – piano
Josh McHan – bass,
Ryan Pliska – drums
Art Blakey’s career spanned six decades from the 1930s to his death in 1990. He is best known for The Jazz Messengers group which he formed as a quintet with Horace Silver in 1955. The group became a sextet in 1959 and remained in that format thereafter.
Art’s driving rhythms and his incessant two and four beat on the high hat cymbals were readily identifiable from the outset and remained a constant throughout 35 years of Jazz Messengers bands. What changed constantly was a seeming unending supply of talented sidemen, many of whom went on to become band leaders in their own right. The Jazz Messengers were considered the quintessential forum for musicians who wished to hone their talent and leave their own mark on the jazz scene.
More than 200 musicians passed through the band, many of them legends of jazz – Clifford Brown, Hank Mobley, Jackie McLean, Benny Golson, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett, Bobby Watson, Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Mulgrew Miller – too many to mention.
Blakey was often called the father of hard bop and was responsible for producing and developing more jazz talent than any other band leader of his era. To Blakey, jazz percussion wasn’t about tone color; it was about rhythm — first, last, and in between. His drum set was the engine that propelled the music, rooted in the core elements of “swing” and “blues”.