The Legacy of Art Blakey

The Jazz Messengers

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The Legacy of Art Blakey Review

by Scott Yanow

Seven years after drummer Art Blakey's death, a Jazz Messengers reunion group was formed for a tour and this recording. Led by tenor saxophonist Benny Golson (who acts as the band's musical director), the sextet also includes trumpeter Terence Blanchard, trombonist Curtis Fuller, pianist Geoff Keezer, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash (in Blakey's spot). Together they perform Wayne Shorter's "One By One," and Cedar Walton's "Plexus," and compositions by Blanchard and Fuller, plus a pair (including "Blues March") by Golson. The overall results are predictable and very much in the hard bop tradition but full of spirit, not so much adding on to Art Blakey's legacy as much as simply revisiting it.

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