Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best Jazz Compositions 6: Moanin'

Bobby Timmons' great composition "Moanin' appears first, I think, on the Art Blakey & and the Jazz Messenger's recording with that title. That presentation is absolutely perfect. I can't think of a better example of a hard bop passion. The way the melody is so explicitly and articulately announced, and then the players dig down into it, that is enough for the hall of fame. But the end of the piece, when the band comes back together to deliver the meat of the tune, that is the coming of the Lord. Blakey's piano man was doing God's work when he wrote this one out.

Here is Timmon's own presentation, from his Moanin' Blues. It's not bad, and I recommend the album. Another great place to hear the tune is this magnificent video clip, featuring Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey, Walter Davis Jr, Curtis Fuller, and one of my jazz heroes, Johnny Griffin. Man is this hot! When you can see the sweat running down along Art Blakey's generous smile, you have seen jazz distilled. Hubbard's solo, followed by Griffin's slicing of the tune, each is worth othe admition price whatever is was. Curtis Fuller is as under apprecated as the song, but his spacy looking horn is not to be missed.

Nothing in music is so compelling as a compelling melody. Moanin' grabs you where it hurts so good.

No comments:

Post a Comment