Little Man

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers

The Marsalis Brothers in 1982 with Art Blakey

Art Blakey led the Jazz Messengers during 1955-90, jump-starting the careers of many promising young jazz musicians.

The 1982 version of the Jazz Messengers is featured live from the Smithsonian on bassist Charles Fambrough’s medium-tempo original “Little Man.”

After Branford Marsalis, who played alto at the time, has a short solo, his brother Wynton takes solo honors with an improvisation that includes a hot double time passage.

The always reliable and creative tenor-saxophonist Billy Pierce, the underrated pianist Donald Brown and bassist Fambrough also take fine solos before Wynton Marsalis (who was 20 at the time) leads the ensemble to the tune’s conclusion.


Art Blakey, drums
Wynton Marsalis, trumpet
Branford Marsalis, alto
Billy Pierce, tenor
Donald Brown, piano
Charles Fambrough, bass

– Scott Yanow