Art Blakey lead the charge on the jazz scene for four decades, and his group, The Jazz Messengers, formed back in the ‘50’s with pianist Horace Silver, and continuing on in various guises, remained one of the hottest bands until Blakey’s passing in 1990. Blakey's spirit, both behind the drum kit and out in the world at large, was so formidable that musicians always turned to him as a natural leader. The way he chose his musicians and how he formed his philosophy of leadership was of great interest to me as we sat down to talk in New York. The list of musicians he discovered and brought along over the years staggers the imagination; even a partial list of just the trumpet players is mind-boggling and would have to include Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard, and Wynton Marsalis. Before the formal part of our conversation began, we talked a little bit about his growing family. In his late sixties, he was both a grandfather and the father of an infant. Then we got down to his role as one of the great practical jazz educators, as well as a drummer of unparalleled energy and style.