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MUSICIAN Born:

Art Blakey

Born in 1919, Art Blakey began his musical career, as did many jazz musicians, in the church. The foster son of a devout Seventh Day Adventist Family, Art learned the piano as he learned the Bible, mastering both at an early age. But as Art himself told it so many times, his career on the piano ended at the wrong end of a pistol when the owner of the Democratic Club—the Pittsburgh nightclub where he was gigging—ordered him off the piano and onto the drums. Art, then in his early teens and a budding pianist, was usurped by an equally young, Erroll Garner who, as it turned out, was as skilled at the piano as Blakey later was at the drums

Soul Station

Label: Blue Note Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Remember; This I Dig Of You; Dig Dis; Split Feelin's; Soul Station; If I Should Lose You.

The Complete Recordings

Label: Phono
Released: 2020
Track listing: CD1: Nutville; The Way You Look Tonight; Star Eyes; Minor Move; Everything Happens To Me; Good Old Soul; Up Tight’s Creek; Theme For Doris; Miss Hazel; True Blue; Nothing Ever Changes My Love For You. CD2: Back To The Tracks; Street Singer; The Blues And I; For Heaven’s Sake; The Ruby And The Pearl; Talkin’ About; One For Myrtle; Dhyana; David The King; Stranger In Paradise; The Waiting Game.

Just Coolin'

Label: Blue Note Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Hipsippy Blues; Close Your Eyes; Jimerick; Quick Trick; M&M; Just Coolin’.

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

The Rebel Festival

Read "The Rebel Festival" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On the morning of July 4, 1960, there were more than a few signs of the mayhem that had taken place the night before in Newport, Rhode Island. Newport's Millionaires Row woke up to broken store windows, overturned vehicles, and storm drains clogged with garbage and beer bottles. One-hundred-eighty-two people, mostly young, New England college students ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ralph Peterson & the Messenger Legacy: Onward & Upward

Read "Onward & Upward" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Generally speaking, legacy bands are created to preserve the music of an artist. They feature innovative interpretations of an artist's compositions or past performances to share with future generations of listeners. In the case of drummer Ralph Peterson, his ambitious efforts to honor the continuum of his mentor Art Blakey are forward thinking, about a collective ...

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May

For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May

Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Charles Tolliver: Blowing Down The Walls Of Trump’s Jericho

Read "Charles Tolliver: Blowing Down The Walls Of Trump’s Jericho" reviewed by Chris May

Charles Tolliver has played with practically every major African American jazz stylist of his generation, and composed for some of them, too. In addition, he is the co-founder of Strata-East, the most influential label at the intersection of hard bop and spiritual jazz during the 1970s. Tolliver's long and distinguished career continues to flourish, with a ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Art Blakey: Just Coolin'

Art Blakey: Just Coolin'

Listening back to the tape he recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in Hackensack, N.J., on March 8, 1959, Blue Note producer Alfred Lion liked what he heard. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers were on fire. The music was tight and ferocious, with the horns—trumpeter Lee Morgan and tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley—improvising on point. The ...


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