Liner Notes

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – Moanin’


  1. Moanin’: πŸ‘πŸ»
  2. Are You Real?: πŸ‘πŸ»
  3. Along Came Betty: πŸ‘πŸ»
  4. The Drum Thunder Suite: πŸ‘πŸ»
  5. Blues March: πŸ‘πŸ»
  6. Come Rain or Come Shine: πŸ‘πŸ»

I absolutely love Jazz, except I don’t know shit about it. I decided to try to fix that as part of this project and I have to admit this was not a great start. I had never heard of Art Blakey or the Jazz Messengers until I watched the Nerd Writer video included in the Aja post. The little hint of a song in that video while this album’s art is shown is from the “title” track: Moanin’. (Interesting note: “title” in quotes because apparently this album isΒ technicallyΒ self-titled, butΒ Moanin’ is so good, everybody just refers to the whole album by that track.)

At any rate, I say I’m not off to a great start because as I was listening to the album I got the impression that the drummer was a bit of a weak link. It seemed to me that, while he was doing some ground breaking and fascinating stuff, he couldn’t quite seem to stay in the pocket (he couldn’t keep the beat; the entire purpose of a rhythm section). Much to my shame and surprise, when I checked the Wikipedia pageΒ I discovered that Art Blakey himself is the drummer. This made me second guess myself and wonder if maybe he was on-beat and it was the rest of the band that couldn’t keep up with him. He was certainly playing some crazy stuff, and it was good, but (I think) it was also arhythmic in a way I didn’t like. But not all of it was that way. And a lot of these tracks are unlike any jazz drumming I’ve heard before. So I’m glad I listened to it. But I still have a lot to listen to and a lot to learn.


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