In the mid-1950s, drummer Art Blakey and pianist Horace Silver would change the course of modern music history with the formation of the Jazz Messengers. Over the next 35 years, the band would raise fresh talent and become the hotbed for jazz musicians to cultivate their talent and sprout into solo careers. Although the Jazz Messengers would see over 100 faces come and go throughout its entire duration, Blakey remained and became the archetype for its members.
Released in 1990, Chippin’ In was one of the band’s last albums prior to Art Blakey’s death just eight months later. The album includes Essiet Okon (bass), Geoff Keezer (piano), Dale Barlow (tenor saxophone), Javon Jackson (tenor saxophone), Frank Lacy (trombone), Steve Davis (trombone) and Brian Lynch (trumpet) touting their talent across the 10 songs.
Chippin’ In exudes energy from its first notes, and the Jazz Messengers deliver an upbeat groove that captures the hard bop style Blakey so famously helped pioneer. Melodies smoothly glide across each member’s instrument, keeping pace with nimble speeds and rhythms guided by Blakey’s high-powered percussion. Blakey's musicality was not lost over time, and this album fully presents it.