Art was famous for his style of playing, which included many high volume
encounters with the bass and snare drums. His powerful relationship with
the beats caused him to lose his hearing. Towards the end of his career he
played with aid of the internal metronome. In the late 40s he moved to Africa for a year,
learned about Islam and brought African beats into his music.
His band, the Jazz Messengers, lasted from the 40s to the 90s. He often recruited the most creative young players, including Horace Silver, Johnny Griffin , Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis and Donald Byrd.