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Moanin' is a jazz album by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers recorded in 1958 for the Blue Note label and released in 1959..

Moanin' (Art Blakey).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 1959[1]
RecordedOctober 30, 1958
StudioVan Gelder Studio, Hackensack
GenreHard bop
50:20CD reissue
LabelBlue Note
BST 84003
ProducerAlfred Lion
Art Blakey chronology
Art Blakey Big Band
Drums Around the Corner
The Jazz Messengers chronology
Hard Drive
1958 – Paris Olympia
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide4/5 stars[3]



This was Blakey's first album for Blue Note in several years, after a period of recording for a miscellany of labels, and marked both a homecoming and a fresh start. Originally the LP was self-titled, but the instant popularity of the bluesy opening track "Moanin'" (by pianist Bobby Timmons) led to its becoming known by that title.


The rest of the originals are by saxophonist Benny Golson (who was not with the Jazz Messengers for long, this being the only American album on which he is featured). "Are You Real?" is a propulsive thirty-two-bar piece with a four-bar tag, featuring two-part writing for Golson and trumpeter Lee Morgan. "Along Came Betty" is a more lyrical, long-lined piece, almost serving as the album's ballad. "The Drum Thunder Suite" is a feature for Blakey, in three movements: "Drum Thunder"; "Cry a Blue Tear"; and "Harlem's Disciples". "Blues March" calls on the feeling of the New Orleans marching bands, and the album finishes on its only standard, an unusually brisk reading of "Come Rain or Come Shine". Of the originals on the album, all but the "Drum Thunder Suite" became staples of the Messengers book, even after Timmons and Golson were gone. Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in his meticulous Hackensack studios, this recording reflects the hallmark precision associated with that engineer – on the reissue there is a brief conversation between Lee Morgan and Rudy Van Gelder going over Morgan's solo.


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. The album was identified by jazz critic Scott Yanow as one of the 17 Essential Hard Bop Recordings.[4]


A vocalese version of "Moanin'" was later written by Jon Hendricks, and recorded by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, as well as jazz vocalists Bill Henderson and Karrin Allyson.

Track listingEdit

All tracks composed by Benny Golson except where noted.

Original LPEdit

  1. "Moanin'" (Bobby Timmons) – 9:35
  2. "Are You Real" – 4:50
  3. "Along Came Betty" – 6:12
  4. "The Drum Thunder Suite" – 7:33
  5. "Blues March" – 6:17
  6. "Come Rain or Come Shine" (Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer) – 5:49

CD reissueEdit

  1. Warm-up and dialogue between Lee Morgan and Rudy Van Gelder – 0:35
  2. "Moanin'" (Timmons) – 9:35
  3. "Are You Real" – 4:50
  4. "Along Came Betty" – 6:12
  5. "The Drum Thunder Suite" – 7:33
  6. "Blues March" – 6:17
  7. "Come Rain or Come Shine" (Arlen, Mercer) – 5:49
  8. "Moanin'" [Alternative Take] (Timmons) – 9:19



  1. ^ Billboard Jan 19, 1959
  2. ^ AllMusic review
  3. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 25. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  4. ^ Yanow, Scott. "hardbopz". Retrieved 6 July 2017.