Moanin' (song)

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Song by Art Blakey
Composer(s)Bobby Timmons
Lyricist(s)Jon Hendricks

"Moanin'" is a composition by Bobby Timmons, first recorded by Art Blakey's band on the 1958 album of the same title.[1]


"Moanin'" has a call and response melody.[1] One account of its creation was given by Benny Golson, the tenor saxophonist in Blakey's band: Timmons had the opening eight bars, which he often played between tunes, but formed the complete song only after Golson encouraged him to add a bridge.[2] It is played in F minor.

Recordings and reception[edit]

"Moanin'" has been recorded numerous times and has become a jazz standard.[3] Gary Giddins stated that the song "set the music world on its ear" and that it was "part of the funky, back to roots movement that Horace Silver, [Charles] Mingus, and Ray Charles helped, in different ways, to fan."[4] Jon Hendricks later added lyrics,[4] and the subsequent recording by Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross made the song even more popular.[5]


  1. ^ a b Seymour, Gene (2005), in Kirchner, Bill (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Jazz, p. 380. Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ Anderson, Sheila E. (2003) The Quotable Musician: from Bach to Tupac, pp. 75–76. Skyhorse Publishing.
  3. ^ Morrison, Nick (October 13, 2009) "Art Blakey: Jazz Messenger, Jazz Mentor" npr music. Accessed July 31, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Giddins, Gary (March 7, 1974) "Bobby Timmons, 1935–1974" The Village Voice, p. 45.
  5. ^ Kernfeld, Barry "Timmons, Bobby" The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed July 29, 2013. (Subscription required.)

External links[edit]