Jean Toussaint 'Roots and Herbs, The Blakey Years'

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Last Show: Tuesday 29 th August 2017

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

To commemorate the life of the great Art Blakey twenty five years after his passing, saxophonist Toussaint has been busy organising a project he calls, Roots and Herbs "The Blakey Project.” Borrowed from the Messengers Blue Note record of the same name, and inspired by Toussaint's time with Blakey's award winning Jazz Messengers, Roots and Herbs features an all-star lineup of British Jazz Musicians to explore the music of the legendary bandleader and some of his illustrious Messengers; 

"The kind of driving swing which once would have been almost inconceivable on this side of the Atlantic"

Sebastian Scotney, London Jazz News

"Art was one of the most inspirational band leaders rated amongst some of the greatest. Names like Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Miles Davis come to mind. They all had an inclusive way of band leading that made each member feel a part of the family. Through the music, Art encouraged us to strive and reach beyond ourselves and work as one to create excitement while never losing sight of the audience.
Art use to say "it doesn't matter how complex you want to play as long as you swing and play from the heart" then he'd cite the great John Coltrane as an example.
I owe it all to the great Art Blakey and I'll be a Jazz Messenger for life".
Jean Toussaint

Band Lineup

Jean Toussaint (tenor saxophone)
Byron Wallen (trumpet)
Dennis Rollins (trombone)
Jason Rebello (piano)
Alec Dankworth (bass)
Shane Forbes (drums)