Moanin’ is a jazz standard that was composed by Charles Mingus in 1959. The song has since become a jazz classic and has been covered by numerous jazz musicians. In terms of sub-genres, Moanin’ can be classified as hard bop.
Hard bop is a sub-genre of jazz that emerged in the 1950s and is characterized by its blues and gospel influences, as well as its use of bebop-style improvisation. It developed as a response to the cool jazz movement, which was seen as too intellectual and detached by some musicians and audiences. Hard bop was a more soulful and rhythmically intense form of jazz that emphasized groove and swing.
Moanin’ features many of the hallmarks of hard bop, including its bluesy melody, driving rhythm, and dynamic solos. The song opens with a memorable horn riff that sets the stage for the rest of the performance. Mingus’ bass playing is also a key component of the song, providing a steady pulse that underpins the improvisation of the other musicians. The solos by the saxophonist and pianist are virtuosic and full of energy, showcasing the improvisational prowess that is a hallmark of hard bop.
Moanin’ was recorded by Mingus’ band, which included several prominent jazz musicians, including saxophonist Benny Golson, trumpeter Lee Morgan, and pianist Bobby Timmons. The song was released on Mingus’ album “Blues & Roots” in 1960, which is considered a classic of the hard bop genre.
In conclusion, Moanin’ by Charles Mingus is a classic example of the hard bop sub-genre of jazz. Its bluesy melody, driving rhythm, and virtuosic improvisation are characteristic of the style, which emerged in the 1950s as a more soulful and rhythmic response to the cool jazz movement. Mingus’ composition has since become a jazz standard, and its influence can still be heard in contemporary jazz music today.