Home Others Von Moanin’ to Kyoto, Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers on Jazz Profiles

Von Moanin’ to Kyoto, Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers on Jazz Profiles

Sunday, February 18, 2018 -14:00 clockto19.00Turn on Jazz ProfilesSunday 18th February from 2nd-7 p.m. ET heardSid Gribetz presents Art Blakeys Jazz Messengers. Art Blakey is the dynamic drummer and band leader who promoted many young jazz stars and shaped the hard-bop sound in the groups he organized over the many decades of his career until his death in 1990. Blakey used the term Jazz Messengers as early as 1947 with his 17-piece rehearsal group and other ensembles. The idea of ​​guarding young talent was realized in 1954 at Night at Birdland with Clifford Brown. Blakey fused that concept and the nickname Jazz Messengers with the small-group cooperative combos he shared with Horace Silver and then went on alone as he spawned this genre of soulful modern jazz in the mid-1950s. Even in a five-hour program, we have time to focus only on a limited aspect of Blakey's productive career. So we decided to explore a golden age of the ensemble, beginning with the arrival of Benny Golson in 1958. Golson organized things and brought in fellow Philadelphians Lee Morgan, Bobby Timmons and Jymie Merritt; enriched their repertoire with his ingenious compositions (and also those by Timmons); and thereby brought the messengers to the next level. In the fall of 1958, the group recorded their groundbreaking Blue Note album Moanin ’and embarked on an extensive European tour that put it on a wider map. Golson would soon be leaving, eventually being replaced by Wayne Shorter in the tenor saxophone chair. Shorter and Morgan set another high bar for the style of jazz messengers with their sizzling and crisp virtuosity as soloists, lyrical songwriting and ensemble playing. Morgan would leave in 1961 to be replaced by Freddie Hubbard; Trombonist Curtis Fuller would be added to make the group a sextet; and Cedar Walton would come aboard to take over the piano bench. Everyone would bring their original compositions into the band book, songs that are now part of the established repertoire of modern jazz. Additionally, the Jazz Messenger sound revolved around their innovative arrangements and creative solos that gave a fresh new meaning to popular standards. Blakey toured Japan in January 1961 on an ecstatic response and returned frequently afterward. From these trips he picked up a Japanese taste in songs like Ugetsu, On The Ginza, and Kyoto, adding to the scope of the presentation.

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