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Art Blakey Moanin'

5. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: Moanin’ (Blue Note, 1959)
You knew it was coming. Between pianist Bobby Timmons’ opening “Moanin’” and saxophonist Benny Golson’s penultimate “Blues March,” Moanin’ is practically a soundtrack album all its own for the hard-bop era. More to the point, though, listen to how deeply this band has digested the whole panorama of African American vernacular music and assimilated it into what they do. You can hear those bluesy touches in Golson’s “Along Came Betty” and the pretty Lee Morgan trumpet solo that it features, and in Timmons and bassist Jymie Merritt’s savory, folk-dance-influenced swing on “Come Rain or Come Shine.” And you certainly can’t miss it in the shapeshifting but relentlessly thumping “Drum Thunder Suite.”

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