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Allmusic Essay Hard Bop Jazz

Although some history books claim that Hard Bop arose as a reaction to the softer sounds featured in cool jazz, it was actually an extension of bop that largely ignored West Coast jazz. The main differences between hard bop and bop are that the melodies tend to be simpler and often more "soulful"; the rhythm section is usually looser, with the bassist not as tightly confined to playing four-beats-to-the-bar as in bop; a gospel influence is felt in some of the music; and quite often, the saxophonists and pianists sound as if they were quite familiar with early rhythm & blues. Since the prime time period of hard bop (1955-70) was a decade later than bop, these differences were a logical evolution and one can think of hard bop as bop of the '50s and '60s. By the second half of the 1960s, the influence of the avant garde was being felt and some of the more adventurous performances of the hard bop stylists (such as Jackie McLean and Lee Morgan) fell somewhere between the two styles. With the rise of fusion and the sale of Blue Note (hard bop's top label) in the late '60s, the style fell on hard times although it was revived to a certain extent in the 1980s. Much of the music performed by the so-called Young Lions during the latter decade (due to other influences altering their style) was considered modern mainstream, although some groups (such as the Harper Brothers and T.S. Monk's sextet) have kept the 1960s' idiom alive.

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Moanin’ is a jazz album by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers recorded in 1958 for the Blue Note label.

This was Blakey’s first album for Blue Note in several years, after a period of recording for a miscellany of labels, and marked both a homecoming and a fresh start. Originally the LP was self-titled, but the instant popularity of the bluesy opening track “Moanin'” (by pianist Bobby Timmons) led to its becoming known by that title.

The album stands as one of the archetypal hard bop albums of the era, for the intensity of Blakey’s drumming and the work of Morgan, Golson and Timmons, and for its combination of old-fashioned gospel and blues influences with a sophisticated modern jazz sensibility. The album was identified by Scott Yanow in his Allmusic essay as one of the 17 Essential Hard Bop Recordings.



  • Moanin’ (Bobby Timmons) – 9:30
  • Are you Real (Benny Golson) – 4:45
  • Along Came Betty (Benny Golson) – 6:09
  • The Drum Thunder Suite (Benny Golson) – 7:15
    First theme: Drum Thunder – 6:19
    Second theme: Cry a Blue Tear – 5:50
    Third theme: Harlems Disciples – 3:25
  • Blues March (Benny Golson) – 6:53
  • Come Rain or Come Shine (J.Mercer, H. Arlen) – 5:45
  • Moanin’ (alternate take) – 3:53


Lee Morgan – Trumpet
Benny Golson – Tenore sax
Bobby Timmons – Piano
Jimmy Merritt – Doublebass
Art Blakey – Drumset


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