Bobby Timmons Moanin’ Blues

Perhaps if he hadn’t died at the age of just 38 in 1974, Bobby Timmons’ name would be accorded the same reverence in soul-jazz circles as Donald Byrd or Roy Ayers. As it is, he left behind an under-appreciated body of work that charted out new directions in soulful excursions into jazz. He never got around to being as far out into the amorphously funky free jazz Byrd or Miles Davis blew into the ether, though, being much too firmly grounded in his blues piano roots to get overly metaphysical. But cutting his teeth with Art Blakey and Cannonball Adderley, two of the bona fide godfathers of soul-jazz, endowed Timmons with a maturity and assurance beyond his years, hence the simultaneous grace and verve of Moanin’ Blues, which serves nicely as both a belated summation and introduction to his all-too-short career. (Prestige)