Art Blakey

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Perhaps the defining hard bop drummer Art Blakey had a theory on how to do it, and it was deceptively simple: drive the car. And drive it he did, until his Jazz Messengers became the quintessential hard bop band. This set was recorded in New York City in 1977 and released on LP the same year with a version of the Messengers that included Valery Ponomarev on trumpet, Bobby Ray Watson on alto sax, David Schnitter on tenor sax, George Cables on piano, Dennis Irwin on bass, and Blakey, of course, driving everything along on drums. It's a fairly standard set featuring a lovely version of "Autumn Leaves," a sturdy "Blues March," and an edgy (for the Jazz Messengers) take on "Round About Midnight."

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