Thursday, October 9, 2008

Now's the Time: Art Blakey Tribute Concert

Plastic Sax feels very fortunate that he caught the Terence Blanchard/Donald Harrison version of the Jazz Messengers in the 1980s. Seeing drummer Art Blakey alternately chide and encourage his talented young charges was a remarkable experience. Blakey died October 16, 1990. Six alumni of his band- Bobby Watson, Javon Jackson, Joanne Brackeen, Carl Allen, Essiet Essiet and Curtis Fuller- perform Saturday at the Gem Theater. Trombonist Fuller solos at the 4:15 mark of this video, but viewers who skip forward will miss Wayne Shorter's transcendent statement. This fascinating chronology of Jazz Messenger membership is invaluable for jazz trainspotters.

(EDIT: Andrew Zender of the American Jazz Museum considers Blakey's contribution at Present magazine.)

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