Tag Archives: Art Blakey

Blakey – Drumming in the heart of Hard Bop

Hard bop developed in the mid-1950 and is most often credited to The Jazz Messengers, led by pianist Horace Silver and drummer Art Blakey. The first recording of Hard Bop, was “A Night at Birdland”, issued as Art Blakey Quintet, the same band that would soon be renamed The Jazz Messengers.

Art Blakey Quintet – A Night at Birdland – Blues (released 1954)
Art Blakey (drums), Lou Donaldson (alto saxophone), Clifford Brown (trumpet), Horace Silver (piano),Curly Russell (bass)

Silver left The Jazz Messengers to form his own band, Art Blakey became the leader of The Jazz Messengers, and recorded under this name with an ever changing group of musicians, many who would later become Jazz legends themselves. Hard bop was an extended form of Bebop, incorporating elements of R&B and Gospel. A highlight from the period is Moanin’ an album recorded in 58, released the following year, featuring amongst others Saxophonist Benny Golson.

The Jazz Messengers – Moanin’- Moanin’ – (Released 1959)
Art Blakey – drums, Lee Morgan – trumpet, Benny Golson – tenor saxophone, Bobby Timmons – piano, Jymie Merritt – bass

From 59 to 61 the band features brilliant Jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, who was writing most of the bands material in this period. A series of great albums was recorded, amongst them Caravan, released in 63.

Caravan – Sweet n Sour – Released Feb 1963
Art Blakey – Drums, Wayne Shorter – Tenor Saxophone, Freddie Hubbard – Trumpet, Curtis Fuller – Trombone, Cedar Walton – Piano, Reggie Workman – Bass.

Unbelivable as it may seem, George Wein a well known Jazz Consert arranger, managed to create an all star Bebop tour, with a band called Giants of Jazz, featuring a dream band comprised of Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Kai Winding, Thelonious Monk, Al McKibbon, Art Blakey, all those bandleaders in one Jazz super group. This is a performance from Copenhagen 1971.

The Giants of Jazz – Live in Copenhagen 1971
Art Blakey – drums
Dizzy Gillespie – trumpet
Al McKibbon – double bass
Thelonious Monk – piano
Sonny Stitt – alto and tenor saxophone
Kai Winding – trombone

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