Every week at the Dirty Dog trucks pull up in the alley with the good stuff that Chef André turns into the great cuisine served at the Dog. The deliveries are all out of sight as are the processes of unwraping, inspecting, storing and cooking. The final product is gently placed in the center of a plate and only then is it placed in front of the diner. Not so the jazz. Most of the preparation is done before the public appearance, but the cooking is done in full view. That’s what makes it special. That’s what makes it jazz. Last week we watched George “SAX” Benson reach back to some magical memories and tell us about some secrets from his life. George just had his 87th birthday and his birthday gift to us was his tone and phrasing, which never faltered. George brought it.
MODERN JAZZ MESSENGERS
This week the Dirty Dog Jazz Café will feature one of the the most thoughtful young men that I know. Sean Dobbins is the personable quiet leader of the Modern Jazz Messengers. Spend time with Sean when he is mentoring a child or exchanging glances with band mates, and you would think he is sort of mild mannered. However, Sean is transformed into an extrovert when he is on the bandstand. Kerbang! Sean doesn’t hold back. His drums lead and inform his cohorts with a driving and forceful beat that is sure and authoritative. Everyone has to keep up. It makes for great music. Sean brings it because that is who he is. Sean and the Messengers will play Wednesday through Saturday.
ART BLAKEY’S JAZZ MESSENGERS
Art Blakey led his Jazz Messengers jazz combo with gusto for over thirty-five years beginning in the early 1950s until his death in 1990. If Detroit is where jazz musicians got their early education, Art Blakey’s bands were their finishing school. Over 150 musicians spent time under his watchful eye and ear. Through all the transformations that The Messengers took, the one constant was Art Blakey. Art was well aware of what was happening. Good musicians grew into great musicians and started their own outfits. He encouraged them. They were the products of the Messengers’ success. This was all evidence of Art Blakey’s philosophy at work. He hand picked, nourished and wished bon voyage to musicians like Freddie Hubbard, Hank Mobley, Benny Green, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Curtice Fuller, Lee Morgan, Thelonius Monk, Keith Jarrett, Chuck Mangione, Wayne Shorter, Terrance Blanchard and Mulgrew Miller among others to strike out on their own . He always brought in younger players, which kept him young. “Yes sir, I’m gonna to stay with the youngsters. When these get too old, I’m gonna get some younger ones. Keeps the mind active” Art said. Throughout his career, Blakey played and recorded as a sideman and leader with many other groups, but his legacy will be the many messengers for jazz that he nudged into stardom.
Sean and Art Blakey are powerful examples of leaders whose exuberance for the music has changed the lives around them. Two powerful but gentle men whose example of strength and enthusiasm have pushed others to succeed
FOR UPCOMING SHOWS GO TO: http://dirtydogjazz.com
Here are a pair of extroverts at work.