Sunday, February 27, 2011

Great Jazz Albums (IMO) #22

Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers.  Moanin (1958).  The Jazz Messengers, the classic hard bop group, were started by the legendary drummer Art Blakey and one of my all time favorite jazz musicians, pianist Horace Silver.  Silver soon left to form his own group, and Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers went on to make a series of great albums with various personnel, from Hank Mobley (saxophone) and Kenny Dorham (trumpet) in the 50s to Wayne Shorter (saxophone) and Freddie Hubbard (trumpet) in the 60s, to Wynton Marsalis (trumpet) in the early 80s.  One of the best Jazz Messengers albums is Moanin, which included Bobby Timmons on piano, Benny Golson on saxophone, Lee Morgan on trumpet and Jymie Merritt on bass. The funky title track, written by Timmons, is a classic that will be instantly familiar even if you don't know it by name, and the tracks that follow, all composed by Golson, never let up.  If Wikipedia says it, it must be true: "The album stands as one of the archetypal hard bop albums of the era, for the intensity of Blakey's drumming and the work of Morgan, Golson and Timmons, and for its combination of old-fashioned gospel and blues influences with a sophisticated modern jazz sensibility."

[Related posts:  Really Great Jazz Albums,  #1 (Hank Mobley); , #2 (Horace Silver), #3 (Sonny Rollins), #4 (Sonny Clark), #5 (Dexter Gordon), #6 (Cannonball Adderley), #7 (Bill Evans), #8 (McCoy Tyner), #9 (Clifford Brown), #10 (Sinatra), #11 (Monk), #12 (Kenny Dorham), #13 (Coltrane), #14 (Duke Ellington), #15 (Miles Davis), #16 (Wayne Shorter), #17 (Dinah Washington); #18 (Sarah Vaughan); #19 (Stan Getz); #20 (Blue Mitchell); #21 (Gene Ammons)]


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