Art Blakey, one of the greatest jazz drummers, with his Jazz Messengers band, performed at the highest level for over 35 years. He created a new “double hit shuffle” rhythm that propelled his band forward, always attempting new and innovative improvisations. He launched the careers of legions of young sidemen, many of whom became leading jazz greats who feature in this Blue Note Years Series. He offered this inspired response to why his line ups changed, “I'm gonna to stay with the youngsters. When these get too old, I'm gonna get some younger ones. Keeps the mind active."
The British jazz great Clark Tracey, winner of Best Drummer British Jazz Awards 2017 & 2018 leads the ensemble capturing the hard driving Art Blakey style, supported by ace saxophone master Alan Barnes.
Doors open 7pm.
Music at 8.30pm
Blue Note is unquestionably the most iconic jazz label there has ever been. It may well be the most iconic record label of all time. When Alfred Lion started the label in 1939, recording boogie woogie pianists, his intention was to bring to the public the kind of music that he felt was important. It is a mission from which he never wavered, nor have the Blue Note albums that have followed in his illustrious footsteps.
Blue Note’s very first press release stated…
“Blue Note Records are designed simply to serve the uncompromising expressions of hot jazz or swing, in general. Any particular style of playing which represents an authentic way of musical feeling is genuine expression. By virtue of its significance in place, time and circumstance, it possesses its own tradition, artistic standards and audience that keep it alive. Hot jazz, therefore, is expression and communication, a musical and social manifestation, and Blue Note records are concerned with identifying its impulse, not its sensational and commercial adornments.”
And this is what has driven the label onwards to the point where it is a brand recognised the world over for the ‘finest in jazz’. Blue Note has become the major brand, and remain so, by consistently delivering quality music. The thousands of Blue Note albums down the years attest to this fact.
Alfred Lion was the most perfect Artist and Repertoire operator. His ability to recognise and encourage great musicians, link them into groups, with his natural feeling for great music was unsurpassed.
Rudy Van Gelder was the ace Blue Note specialist jazz recording engineer. He recorded several thousand jazz sessions, including many recognised as classics, in a career which spanned more than half a century.
The instantly recognisable Blue Note style, owed much to the co-founder and original photographer Francis Wolff, supported by original designers, Paul Bacon, Reid Miles & John Hermansader.