Art Blakey was an exceptional musician, but not only because he succeeded in recruiting the best players to join his Messengers. He also had the skill to blaze new trails through forms of jazz that continuously evolved. Beginning in the Forties with the big bands of Fletcher Henderson and Billy Eckstine, he went on to play with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie… And then Blakey met up with Horace Silver in the mid-Fifties to found the Jazz Messengers. It was with this band that Blakey would open his arms to all the best young musicians of this generation: he nurtured the likes of Hank Mobley, Jackie McLean, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard and many others. The first two sides of this album give an all too brief illustration of this aspect of the drummer, while sides three and four feature the inventiveness and rhythmical sense of a great percussionist who never renounced his African origins.