One of the most beloved recordings of all time, Moanin' is one of the few albums where listeners actually remember where they were the first time they heard it. Art Blakey Jazz Messengers had been formed in 1955 when Blakey joined forces with Horace Silver. 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 1958 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. These musicians knew that they were creating some of the world's greatest music. Moanin finds the band combining youthful soul with hard-swinging solos.
The Jazz Messengers are simply thrilling throughout this album. They introduce the definitive gospel-drenched soul jazz tune Moanin (the solos of Morgan, Golson and Timmons would be quoted by other musicians for decades), Along Came Betty and Blues March on this remarkable album. Blakey's drumming is explosive in the extreme, inspiring the musicians to play as if every chorus might be their last. The passion and intensity heard throughout Moanin makes this an all-time classic.
This pressing is on SRX Vinyl. SRX stands for “Silent Running Xperience.” SRX is our own proprietary formula, conceived and developed by Rick Hashimoto of Record Technology and manufactured by Neotech. Its noise floor is fathoms lower than any other vinyl we know of out there past or present. Records pressed with it look like normal black discs until you hold them up to the light and see that they are translucent and smoky, silvery gray in color. The near-perfect silence of SRX Vinyl virtually frees the music from groove noise and draws you further into the listening space, setting it in relief so distinct, full and spacious it’s nearly sculptural. You hear more of what’s on the original tapes, not only of the notes played on the instruments but the experience of the event itself. That's why we call it Silent Running Xperience.
Like all Music Matters Jazz releases, this is cut from the original analog tapes, mastered by Ron Rambach and Kevin Gray at Cohearant Audio, and pressed at Record Technologies Inc (RTI). The gorgeous gatefold jacket is from Stoughton Printing in City of Industry, California and includes exclusively licensed photos from the original session inside.
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