Sunday, February 17, 2008


Saturday night at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge drummer Sean Dobbins celebrated the release of “Blue Horizons,” his quintet’s debut album. For a year, Dobbins has led a tight knit band called Sean Dobbins and The Modern Jazz Messengers that features vibist Robert Pipho, pianist Steve Richko, bassist Marion Hayden, and saxophonist Dean Moore.

Dobbins never attempts to outright emulate the original Jazz Messengers, although his group play compositions that were part of the Messengers repertoire. Dobbins named his band after the Messengers to pay homage to the late drummer Art Blakey, Dobbin's chief musical influence.

If Blakey were alive, and had attended The Modern Jazz Messengers’ performance Saturday night, he would’ve enjoyed every moment especially, how Pipho and Richko worked “Sky Dive,” “Bolivia,” and “Lester Left Town”. Pipho and Richko had the crowd transfixed. Pipho played notes faster than cars rolling off an assemble line. Richko woke up the blues monster in his piano on an impromptu belly rubbing blue number the group performed.

Dobbins joined the fray on Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee". Dobbins put his drum kit through a Taebo style workout, and the capacity crowd when nuts. At times, Dobbins can be a show-boater, but as a band leader the guy is charismatic and self-less. Saturday night, he had the crowd wrapped around his drumsticks, and instead of giving in to his proclivity to hog the spotlight Dobbins share it with his band-mates.
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