Currently reading: Hard Bop Academy: The Sidemen Of Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers, by Alan Goldsher.
Alan Goldsher, a bassist who has recorded with Janet Jackson, Digable Planets, Cypress Hill and Naughty By Nature, a writer of various articles and novels and a fellow Tumblr member, wrote this great book on the multitude of gifted artists who populated the many editions of the Jazz Messengers through the years.
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 (about 120 of them) were among the most important artists of any era. Though their respective innovations were vital to the evolution of bebop and hard bop, the recorded work of the Messengers sidemen has never been properly analyzed. In addition to dissecting the sidemen’s most consequential work with Blakey’s band, Alan Goldsher offers up engaging profiles of a great deal of Messenger members.
I started reading this book yesterday, so expect some great Messengers music coming your way in the near future.