It may not have been the first album I ever owned, but it was in there amongst the earliest. You know what it's like with music: it can be just about the quality of what you're hearing; but in certain cases it's also about what it means personally to you. So while I wouldn't care to say which is the best album ever recorded by Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, the one I'd take to a desert island is Moanin'.
That opening call by Bobby Timmons on piano on the title track (written by him), with the crystalline tones of the young Lee Morgan coming in strong on the first solo, sets things up a treat. This is followed by 'Are You Real', a piece of driving hard bop on which Benny Golson is in terrific form, as throughout. Golson was responsible for four of the compositions, including the memorable 'Blues March'. The Book says:
Golson's... playing shows great toughness, and the ebullient Morgan, also making his Messengers debut, is a splendid foil.If you didn't got it, you oughta have it. (See the review here.)
[Links to the rest of the series.]