The two groups are recorded live at the Seventh At Avenue South club in N.Y.C. Art Blakey started as a professional musician with Fletcher Henderson and Mary Lou Williams in the years 1939-1941. He had his own band in Boston and was later with Billy Eckstine and Buddy De Franco before he started his first jazz Messenger Group, with Horace Silver, in 1954. When he left Silver he kept the name and had The Jazz Messengers for five decades. During this time some of the most important musicians in modern jazz were members of the Messengers. Donald Byrd, Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Wynton Marsalis, and Terence Blanchard (tp); Curtis Fuller (tb); Lou Donaldson, Jackie McLean (as); Benny Golson, Wayne Shorter, Johnny Griffin and Branford Marsalis (ts); Bobby Timmons, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, and Mulgrew Miller (p). The highlight of this video is Wynton Marsalis' rendition of 'My Ship', which definitely dispels the notion of many critics who say that Marsalis is all technique and no soul. Mike Mainieri began to play vibraphone at the age of 12, inspired by Lionel Hampton. When he was 17 years old he played with Buddy Rich and became his arranger and musical leader. Later he earned his living as a studio musician in New York. He has recorded with Jeremy Steig, Buddy Rich, Sonny Stitt and Art Farmer. He was one of the musicians who formed the extremely successful group, Steps, in 1979, later called Steps Ahead - Steve Schein, 2000.