Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Art BLAKEY - Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Moanin' Live! 1959

Art BLAKEY - Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Moanin' Live! 1959


If you simply can only have one Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers disc (and why would you stop there?), it absolutely must be MOANIN'. This 1958 Blue Note date is the cream of the early Messengers' studio sessions. The group of this period featured the wailing Lee Morgan (trumpet), the swinging Benny Golson (sax) and the soulful Bobby Timmons (piano) with longtime bassist Jymie Merritt by Blakey's side. All of the pieces fell into place here to create one of the most hard-swinging, blues-inflected records in jazz history.

Timmons' classic title cut sets the pace as it's laid-back call-and-response chorus and swinging bridge will get in your soul and start your head bobbing. Golson's bouncing "Are You Real" and the subtle "Along Came Betty" feature that golden Messengers ensemble sound that can't be matched as Blakey drives his men mercilessly. The most dynamic tracks, of course, are the drum feature "The Drum Thunder Suite," a Blakey tour-de-force, and the powerful "Blues March" featuring Art's signature shuffle groove. A delightful reading of the standard "Come Rain Or Come Shine" caps it all off. This is the one to get first.
A1. Moanin'   9:30
A2. Are You Real?   4:47
A3. Along Came Betty   6:08
B1. The Drum Thunder Suite   7:30
B2. Blues March   6:13
B3. Come Rain or Come Shine   5:45

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