Art Blakey - gave percussion a musical voice.
Art Blakey – gave percussion a musical voice.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers – Live At Newport – July 1, 1959 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

The inimitable and legendary Art Blakey this week, with a concert from The 1959 Newport Jazz Festival featuring The Jazz Messengers.

One of the most influential and potent drummers of the 20th century, Blakey took what had been considered nothing more than a human-powered metronome and turned it into a virtuoso musical instrument. Blakey changed the role of the drummer in Jazz from a timekeeper to an integral member of the ensemble; a voice that blended with the others and created its own language.

Blakey’s method and his pioneering ideas paved the way for an entire generation of drummers coming up to look and reevaluate their roles, and in doing so provided a newfound respect for the role of Drummer in a band.

And to hear that in action, this concert ably provides proof.

If you aren’t familiar with Art Blakey and his inestimable contributions to Jazz, now’s the time to get acquainted. If you are, then it’s preaching to the choir and you’ve already hit the play button.

In either case, enjoy.

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