Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Legacy of Art Blakey
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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And What A Legacy!
Greg Balas | Scottsdale, AZ United States | 07/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though Art Blakey is no longer here to grace us with his virtuosity, style, and smile...he will always live on thanks to all of the wonderful musicians that have played with Blakey over the years. The list of Jazz Messenger alumni reads like a jazz honor roll. With talents like Wayne Shorter; Benny Golson; Hank Mobley; Lee Morgan; Kenny Dorham; Freddie Hubbard; Keith Jarrett, etc.And so it is with this album. Benny Golson plays tenor and serves as musical director for this most swinging and electrifying live performance, with Terence Blanchard on trumpet, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Geoff Keezer on piano, Peter Washington on bass, and Lewis Nash on drums. This group really comes together to swing in true Blakey-esque fashion. This is a recording that not only makes you take notice upon a first listening, but also gets better with each subsequent playing. Golson's lilting playing is thoughtful and strong, while Blanchard has never sounded better. Curtis Fuller provides a nice contrast with his mellow tone to the more hard-driving solo styles of Golson and Blanchard. However, Geoff Keezer really steals the show on this recording. The young pianist pushes the envelope with his amazing ideas, phrasing, and virtuosity. To put it simply...he is mind-blowing on this recording (if you a fan of Geoof Keezer, you MUST own this recording). Peter Washington and Lewis Nash do a good job on bass and drums, respectively, laying down the vital and vibrant musical canvas which the soloists play against; swinging, but never stealing any of the soloists' thunder.All the tunes on this recording are Messenger standards, and all arrangements are done well. "One By One" is a nice attention-grabing opener, but I think my favorite on this recording is the second track, "Ala Mode".In any event, I know that oftentimes these tribute-type of recordings may not be as popular, because most people who want to hear or explore Blakey's music, would just assume to purchase a CD with the legend himself on drums. However, please trust me...this CD will not disappoint. A real gem that should have received more notice.I think Art would be smiling upon hearing this recording...as he takes a break from that big jam session in the sky.Be sure to add this one to your shopping cart!"
Ah, to be young.
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 04/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The previous reviewer is on the mark when he singles out Geoff Keezer's performance for special praise. Even on the basis of his "supportive" role in the rhythm section of this sextet, Keezer belongs on any short list of great living pianists. I find myself playing each of the six song selections on this CD for one overriding purpose: to get to the next Keezer solo. He reminds me of an original musician like Jelly Roll Morton, who insisted above all that each chorus offer a new sound, new rhythm, new approach. Originally a drummer, Keezer is blessed with a sense of time and coordination that allows him to take chances and liberties that are beyond the imagination, let alone execution, of most pianists. Safe to say, he alone is worth the price of admission.
The other young lion on the date is trumpeter Terrence Blanchard, who turns in some engaging choruses--pyrotechnical, dramatic, executed with flare, imagination, and a full-bodied tone. Golson and Fuller both have their chops together, for the most part--as evidenced by quick, beboppish articulations. But to retain that facility, both seem to have sacrificed power, passion, and sound. Regrettably, some of this diminished strength is evident in unbalanced ensemble passages, where Blanchard's vibrant trumpet overshadows the other two horns.
Nash is his usual dependable, adaptable self, but he's no Art Blakey, and this group is no Art Blakey facsimile. The crisper high-hat sound of Nash's kit is no substitute for the Art's driving ride and crash cymbals, and the listener familiar with Blakey's playing will miss the thunderous undercurrent and explosive press rolls along with the tremendous push and energy that were the hallmark of the Blakey style (with Art's playing, I always have the sense of a leader who is behind and above the musicians, urging them down a cascading descent.)
The compositions are all good representative vehicles from the last 20 years of the Messengers, though it would have been nice to hear at least one of the soaring, rhapsodic tunes that pianist Walter Davis, Jr. contributed to the book."