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Widely regarded as one of the finest jazz albums ever, Moanin’ was the first LP by the third formation of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, showcasing trumpeter Lee Morgan, saxophonist Benny Golson, pianist Bobby Timmons, and bassist Jymie Merritt. Morgan (1938-1972) was only 20-years old at the time the Jazz Messengers recorded Moanin’, and his recording debut with Blakey had occurred the previous year. Benny Golson (90 years-old at this writing) wrote four of the songs from the album. Bobby Timmons stayed with Blakey from 1958 to 1961 and participated on some of the best Jazz Messengers recordings, also contributing such hits of his own as the title track, “Moanin’”. Timmons died young due to cirrhosis of the liver in 1974, at age 38. Originally released just with the group’s name on the cover, due to the increasing popularity of the opening track, later editions were titled after that song, which became a standard.
Hackensack, New Jersey, October 30, 1958.