Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers – live at l’Olympia, Paris – 1966 – RTL-Radio, Paris –
Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers this weekend. Recorded live in concert at l’Olympia in 1966 and broadcast by RTL in Paris.
No such thing as too much Art Blakey. The melodic quality he applied to percussion makes just about every experience a new one. His is an example there is always something to learn from what would be considered mundane things. Percussion in Art Blakey’s case, was no mundane object – nor was it something solely used to beat out time. To say Art Blakey was revolutionary in his approach to percussion pretty much nails it on the head.
This group, considered “The New Messengers” consisted of Chuck Mangione on trumpet – Frank Mitchell on tenor sax, Keith Jarrett on piano and Reggie Johnson on bass. Although the notes on this broadcast don’t confirm this, the lineup was consistent from January 1966 until almost the end of the year. I am sure Blakey enthusiasts have the correct lineup for this gig, if it’s not the above, although the Piano does like Jarrett’s, I could be wrong.
Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers evolved into a proving ground for young jazz talent. While veterans occasionally re-appeared in the group, by and large, each iteration of the Messengers included a lineup of new young players. Having the Messengers on one’s resume was a rite of passage in the jazz world, and conveyed immediate bona fides.
Many former members of the Jazz Messengers established careers as solo musicians, such as Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Timmons, Curtis Fuller, Cedar Walton, Keith Jarrett, Joanne Brackeen, Woody Shaw, Chuck Mangione, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison and Mulgrew Miller. Some members, such as bassist Clarence Seay and Gregory Charles Royal, are documented to have played in the Jazz Messengers but did not record with the group.
To get an idea what Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers were up to in 1966, feast your ears on this somewhat worn but infinitely enjoyable concert from l’Olympia in Paris.
Press play and dive in.
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