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Patricia Hennessy | USA | 10/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"by Scott Yanow
The final recording by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers found the 70-year old drummer (just months before his death) doing what he loved best, leading a group of young players through hard-swinging and generally new music in the hard-bop style. The last edition of The Jazz Messengers (a septet with trumpeter Brian Lynch, trombonist Steve Davis, the tenors of Dale Barlow and Javon Jackson, pianist Geoffrey Keezer and bassist Essiet O. Essiet) was comprised, as usual, of future bandleaders and stylists. Blakey, although pretty well deaf by this time, still pushed the ensembles and the individual players to play above their heads. A satisfying final effort from an irreplaceable drummer and bandleader.