Last night was the season opener for the University of South Florida’s Monday Night Jazz Series at the new music building. USF faculty gathered onstage to perform several Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers’ hits.
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers were a jazz institution from the 1950’s through the 1990’s leaving about 300 songs for the faculty to select from for their 1.5 hour program. One of the Jazz Messengers’ more popular albums was the Moanin’ album released in 1958, named after the “quintessential” Art Blakey jazz shuffle. I learned all these fun facts solely by attending this event. One of the fun things about University concerts is that you can actually learn something about the music that is being played.
The USF Faculty Jazz Ensemble, with special guest John DePaola on trumpet, played several songs from the Moanin’ album last night, including Moanin’ and Along Came Betty, and closing with Blues March.