From Library Journal
To call Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers a "hard bop academy" is no exaggeration. From 1954 to the leader's death in 1990, the Messengers were a staple in an ever-changing jazz universe. Many of the great practitioners of this style cut their teeth in the band, including Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Cedar Walton, and Wynton Marsalis. Drawing on more than 30 interviews, as well as secondary sources, Goldsher, a bassist and writer, presents us with a fan's view of the hard bop sidemen organized chronologically by instrument. While the interviews offer insight into the workings of the band, some eras are not covered in as much detail as they deserve, e.g., the late 1960s through the mid-1970s. And though the writing is fairly lucid and engaging, ultimately, more could have been said. Many of the musicians featured here have been profiled in jazz magazines like Down Beat and Cadence, but this is the first book dedicated to the Messengers. Recommended with some reservation to jazz collections in public and academic libraries.Ronald S. Russ, Arkansas State Univ. Lib., Beebe
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