Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers was one of the most enduring, popular, reliable and vital small bands in modern jazz history. Blakey was not only a distinguished, inventive and powerful drummer, but along with Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, he was one of jazz's foremost talent scouts. The musicians who flowed seamlessly in and out of this constantly evolving collective during its 36-year run were among the most important artists not just of their eras, but of any era. Though their respective innovations were vital to the evolution of bebop, hard bop and neo bop, the recorded work of the Messengers sidemen has never been properly analyzed. Until now. Hard Bop Academy: The Sidemen of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers critically examines the multitude of gifted artists who populated the many editions of the Jazz Messengers. In addition to dissecting the sidemen's most consequential work with Blakey's band, jazz musician and acclaimed novelist Alan Goldsher offers up engaging profiles of everyone from Wynton Marsalis to Terence Blanchard to Hank Mobley to Wayne Shorter to Horace Silver to Keith Jarrett to Curtis Fuller to Steve Davis. And that's only the beginning. Goldsher conducted over 30 interviews with surviving graduates of Blakey's Hard Bop Academy, many of whom spoke at length of their tenure with the legendary "Buhaina" for the first time. Alan Goldsher is a bassist who has recorded with Janet Jackson, Digable Planets, Cypress Hill and Naughty By Nature. His writing has been published in Bass Player, Tower Pulse, Sport and BasketBull: Chicago Bulls Magazine. Goldsher's debut novel, Jam, was published in 2002 by Permanent Press. He lives in Chicago. Hardcover.
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Alan Goldsher is the author of 11 books, including that acclaimed Beatles/horror/comedy mashup Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion. As a ghostwriter, he has collaborated with numerous celebrities and public figures. For more information, please visit AlanGoldsher.com.From Library Journal:
To call Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers a "hard bop academy" is no exaggeration. From 1954 to the leader's death in 1990, the Messengers were a staple in an ever-changing jazz universe. Many of the great practitioners of this style cut their teeth in the band, including Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Cedar Walton, and Wynton Marsalis. Drawing on more than 30 interviews, as well as secondary sources, Goldsher, a bassist and writer, presents us with a fan's view of the hard bop sidemen organized chronologically by instrument. While the interviews offer insight into the workings of the band, some eras are not covered in as much detail as they deserve, e.g., the late 1960s through the mid-1970s. And though the writing is fairly lucid and engaging, ultimately, more could have been said. Many of the musicians featured here have been profiled in jazz magazines like Down Beat and Cadence, but this is the first book dedicated to the Messengers. Recommended with some reservation to jazz collections in public and academic libraries.
Ronald S. Russ, Arkansas State Univ. Lib., Beebe
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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