[104] Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – Moanin’

3 Apr

Art Blakey is the drummer and bandleader here, but oh, that trumpet!

Moanin'

Moanin’

So hot.  So cool.  When I hear a horn blowing like this, I actually wonder if Jazz could ever surpass Rock as my true love.  I would never have believed it possible before beginning this blog, but listening to these sublime compositions, these masterful performances, it doesn’t sound so far fetched.

The melody slips and slides all over the scale while the band grooves on beneath, and the result is simply exquisite.  The rhythm section is rock solid – tight and powerful – allowing each soloist to wander and explore far shores without ever losing their way back, and with each drum roll the soloists are pushed further, urged higher.

The original songs on display here are classy and kinetic, intricate and intruguing.  Just when I feel certain that Lee Morgan’s trumpet is the star of the show, Bobby Timmons’s piano takes a turn in the spotlight, astoundng with its frenetic energy, its controlled tumbling.

And always the band is driven on by Blakey’s poking, prodding drums which never allow a moments pause.

By the time Blakey himself features in the aptly named “The Drum Thunder Suite” I am more or less in love.

The only moment which falls slightly flat is the somewhat static cover of one of my favorite standards, “Come Rain Or Come Shine”.  Ironically, the familiar melody is played a little too straight, respected a little too much and the result is far less than the sum of its parts.

For the rest of the ride, the exact opposite is gloriously, upliftingly true.

Here is a rare recording from Tom Moon’s list which inspires me to take a break from the relentlessnes of “what’s next?” and explore the current artist a little further.  For the most part, it has been the Jazz that has brought out this restlessness for more, and in Blakey I have been revealed a performer with decades of high quality content in his hopper.

Moon’s recommended catalog choice is A Night In Tunisia and here the percussion is front and center from the very start, primal and powerful, a most enjoyable assault on the senses.

Blakey and his Jazz Messengers affect me physically.  I can’t sit still, can’t concentrate on anything other than the music, at times can’t even catch my breath while they play.

Needless to say, I approve this message . . .

Next Week:  Bobby “Blue” Bland – Two Steps From The Blues

Owned before blogging? No. (10 of 104 = 10%)
Heard before blogging? No. (16 of 104 = 15%)
Recommend? Yes. (86 of 104 = 83%)

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