Art Blakey: Moanin'
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
Moanin’ (Blue Note 95324)
Recorded: Hackensack, N.J., October 30, 1958
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
For decades, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers was a breeding ground for hard-bop talent. Countless numbers of future superstars honed their skills and cut their teeth in the drummer’s powerfully swinging group. 20-year-old Lee Morgan replaced Bill Hardman in 1958 and made a startling initial impression on “Moanin,’” the opening track from his first recording with the Messengers. Undoubtedly one of the greatest trumpet solos of the modern era, Morgan’s famous, brilliantly self-assured opening exclamation solidified his status as the next great trumpet hero. With his crisp and funky licks in the ‘A’ sections contrasted by elongated, linear phrases over the bridges, Morgan’s improvisation is not only astounding in content but in its structure as well. Displaying brilliance well beyond his years, the young trumpeter’s pomposity and dazzling technique is balanced by his strong blues sensibility and fluid lyricism. This crucial hard-bop classic is absolutely essential to any jazz collection.
Reviewer: Matt Leskovic