Joanne Brackeen Joins Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers
JOINING ART BLAKEY’S MESSENGERS [:89]
NOW, A JAZZ MOMENT
IN 1969, PIANIST JOANNE BRACKEEN LIVED IN A SIX-FLOOR WALK-UP IN NYC’s EAST VILLAGE. AT THE TIME, NOT THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE WITH YOUNG KIDS. BUT FOR A JAZZ LOVER, IT WAS A MAGICAL LOCATION. THE FAMOUS CLUB, SLUGS, WAS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER.
Joanne Brackeen: Tiny club with sawdust, a beer for $1. And they had all the major people came there. One night I said, “Oh, I’m going to go and hear Art Blakey.
Art Blakey up
And the band sounded great, but the piano player was up there, not playing, just sitting, and it sounded like they needed a piano in the group right at that moment.
So I went up to the piano and asked him if it was okay if I played, and he said, “Yeah.” So I played, and I played the rest of the set. And then, Art Blakey, he looked up and saw it was me, and he hired me on the spot.
JOANNE BRACKEEN WAS THE ONLY WOMAN TO EVER BE A JAZZ MESSENGER.
THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH NEA JAZZ MASTER JOANNE BRACKEEN WAS PRODUCED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
“Weird-O” composed by Kenny Drew and performed by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers from The Jazz Messengers, used courtesy of Sony Music and by permission of Twenty-Eighth Street Music c/o Modern Works Publishing, ASCAP.