Moanin’ was not the first album jazz drummer Art Blakey created, but it was his first on Blue Note. It was recorded in 1958 in Rudy van Gelder’s famous Hackensack studio, the origin of a lot of jazz beauties. The 1999 remastering that is on the Spotify link I supplied has an introductory track with an interview with the famous sound technician.

Originally the album was just called Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. The popularity of the first song did the rest. Most tracks (except the title track) were written by the tenor sax, or rather the guy playing it. And most, if not all have become jazz standards since.

Although not the original from 1958, this is still an old pressing of the record. It benefits from the superior wax treatment the Blue Note offered, and was quite a find. If you don’t know this record, have a listen. It is a classic (why didn’t it make the 1001 Albums you must hear before you die, Robert Dimery?).

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