The Messengers - Netflix

An apocalyptic event on Earth gives five strangers angelic powers, and it also brings a mysterious dark figure to the planet.

The Messengers - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2015-04-17

The Messengers - Art Blakey - Netflix

Arthur “Art” Blakey (October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. He was known as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina after he became a Muslim. Blakey made a name for himself in the 1940s in the big bands of Fletcher Henderson and Billy Eckstine. He worked with bebop musicians Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. In the mid-1950s Horace Silver and Blakey formed the Jazz Messengers, a group that the drummer was associated with for the next 35 years. The group was formed as a collective of contemporaries, but over the years the band became known as an incubator for young talent, including Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, and Wynton Marsalis. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz calls the Jazz Messengers “the archetypal hard bop group of the late 50s”. He was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame (in 1981), the Grammy Hall of Fame (in 1998 and 2001), and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1991.

The Messengers - Personal life - Netflix

In addition to his musical interests, Blakey was described by Jerry “Tiger” Pearson as a storyteller, as having a “big appetite for music [...] women [and] food”, and an interest in boxing. Blakey married four times, and had long-lasting and other relationships throughout his life. He married his first wife, Clarice Stewart, while yet a teen, then Diana Bates (1956), Atsuko Nakamura (1968), and Anne Arnold (1983). He had 10 children from these relationships — daughters Gwendolyn, Evelyn, Jackie, Kadijah, and Sakeena, and sons Art Jr., Takashi, Akira, Kenji and Gamal. Sandy Warren, another longtime companion of Blakey, published a book of reminiscences and favorite food recipes from the period of the late 1970s to early 1980s when Blakey lived in Northfield, New Jersey with Warren and their son, Takashi. Blakey traveled for a year in West Africa (1948) to explore the culture and religion of Islam he would adopt alongside changing his name (see above); Art's conversion to “Bu” took place in the late 1940s at a time when other African-Americans were being influenced by the Ahmadi missionary Kahili Ahmed Nasir, according to the Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History, and at one time in that period, Blakey led a turbaned, Qur'an-reading jazz band called the 17 Messengers (perhaps all Muslim, reflecting notions of the Prophet's and music's roles as conduits of the divine message). A friend recollects that when “Art took up the religion [...] he did so on his own terms”, saying that “Muslim imams would come over to his place, and they would pray and talk, then a few hours later [we] would go [...] to a restaurant [...and] have a drink and order some ribs”, and suggests that reasons for the name change included the pragmatic: that “like many other black jazz musicians who adopted Muslim names”, musicians did so to allow them to “check into hotels and enter 'white only places' under the assumption they were not African-American”. As John Cohassey reports, Blakey was a “jazz musician who lived most of his life on the road, [and] lived by the rules of the road.” This lifestyle resulted in run-ins related to but predating the civil rights era (including a 1939 Fletcher Henderson band episode in Albany, Georgia, where an altercation and Blakey's treatment after arrest led to surgery in which a plate was inserted in his head). Drummer Keith Hollis, reflecting on Blakey's early life, states that his fellow drummer “wound up doing drugs to cope”; like many of the era, Blakey and his bands were known for their drug use (namely heroin) while traveling and performing (with varying accounts of Blakey's influence on others in this regard). Other specific recollections have Blakey forswearing serious drink while playing (after being disciplined by drummer Sid Catlett early in his career for drinking while performing), and suggest that the influence of “clean-living cat” Wynton Marsalis led to a period where he was less affected by drugs during performances. Blakey was a heavy smoker; he appears in a cloud of smoke on the Buhaina's Delight (1961) album cover, and in extended footage of a 1973 appearance with Ginger Baker, Blakey begins a long drummers' “duel” with cigarette alight.

The Messengers - References - Netflix