One of the most important drummers in the history of jazz (not just for his influential, hard-driving drumming, but also for his discovery and cultivation of prodigious new jazz talent throughout his remarkable career), the late Art Blakey is truly deserving of the status of "Jazz Legend." Propelled by Blakey’s incessantly grooving, deep, wide beat, you could also always count on any of his Jazz Messengers units to swing hard. The two Jazz Messengers ensembles featured in this 2-CD collection—which includes the two classic albums In This Korner and Straight Ahead, in their entirety—are amongst the most exuberant and inspired bands that the uncompromising jazzman ever led. Both classic recordings epitomize the relentless swing of Blakey’s Beat—a potent, galvanizing force that, without fail, ignites and fuels the creative fire of his virtuoso Jazz Messengers band members, song after song, inspired solo after inspired solo.
Art Blakey, drums; with collective personnel: Wynton Marsalis, trumpet; Valery Ponomarev, trumpet; Bobby Watson, alto saxophone; Bill Pierce, tenor saxophone; David Schnitter, tenor saxophone; James Williams, piano; Charles Fambrough, bass; Dennis Irwin, bass