After Silver left to form his own successful quintet, Blakey band struggled a bit. However this is the version of the group that made the Jazz Messengers immortal. In fact, the release of Moanin is when the Jazz Messengers became a permanent jazz institution, a laboratory in swinging jazz. Shortly before this recording was made, tenor- saxophonist Benny Golson persuaded Blakey to hire three brilliant young Philadelphians Lee Morgan, Bobby Timmons and bassist Jymie Merritt for the band. With Golson, Timmons and Morgan contributing new songs, the Jazz Messengers quickly had a fresh repertoire, their own sound, and an infectious enthusiasm that can still be felt today.
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His biological father was Bertram Thomas Blakey, originally of Ozark, Alabama , whose family migrated northward to Pittsburgh sometime between and The stories related by family and friends, and by Blakey himself, are contradictory as to how long he spent with the Peron family, but it is clear he spent some time with them growing up. It is agreed by several sources that by the time he was in seventh grade, Blakey was playing music full-time and had begun to take on adult responsibilities, playing the piano to earn money and learning to be a band leader.
An oft-quoted account of the event states that Blakey was forced at gunpoint to move from piano to drums by a club owner, to allow Erroll Garner to take over on piano. While sources differ on the timing, most agree that he traveled to New York with Williams in before joining Henderson a year later. He led his own band at the Tic Toc Club in Boston for a short time. I was supposed to stay there three months and I stayed two years because I wanted to live among the people and find out just how they lived and—about the drums especially.
The records were released as 78 rpm records at the time, and two of the songs were released on the "New Sounds" 10" LP compilation BLP The band proved to be financially unstable and broke up soon after. Blakey led the group for the rest of his life.
While veterans occasionally reappeared in the group, by and large, each iteration of the Messengers included a lineup of new young players. Keeps the mind active. Ralph Peterson, Jr. Ron Wynn notes that Blakey had "played with such force and fury that he eventually lost much of his hearing, and at the end of his life, often played strictly by instinct. Art was the perhaps the best at maintaining independence with all four limbs.
He was doing it before anybody was. From his earliest recording sessions with Eckstine, and particularly in his historic sessions with Monk in , he exudes power and originality, creating a dark cymbal sound punctuated by frequent loud snare and bass drum accents in triplets or cross-rhythms.
Later he organized recording sessions with multiple drummers, including some African musicians and pieces. His much-imitated trademark, the forceful closing of the hi-hat on every second and fourth beat, has been part of his style since — Art kept it going.
How to stand up and be accounted for".
Best sounding vinyl pressing of Moanin'? (Art Blakey)