Jazz MessengersThe Jazz Messengers were a jazz ensemble founded by Art Blakey and Horace Silver in 1955. Blakey had already used the name for an album he recorded with Silver, Kenny Dorham, Doug Watkins, and Hank Mobley – Dorham and Mobley were the other two members of the permanent group. The name may have religious significance, since Blakey was a Muslim.
In 1956 Silver left and Blakey became the sole leader of the group. Over the years the band included Jackie McLean, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Cedar Walton, Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, Bobby Timmons, Jymie Merritt, Branford Marsalis, and Keith Jarrett, among many other well known musicians. It is now widely regarded as an important training ground for many of the best young hard bop players of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.