Hank Mobley – Jazz Message of Hank Mobley, Volume.2 {Savoy} “mono”


Review by Jim Todd (allmusic.com)

Impressive lineups, both in the front line and the rhythm section, fuel the two 1956 sessions on this Savoy reissue. The players are committed, the writing is good, and the performances reward repeated listening. The result is a worthwhile precursor to the industry-standard hard bop Mobley would later record for Blue Note.Lee Morgan, then 18, joins Mobley on two tracks that have pianist Hank Jones, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor in the rhythm section. Even if Morgan at this time was audibly still growing as a trumpet player, his poise, execution, and resourceful imagination were already the tools of a master. Donald Byrd, on form and playing with crispness and authority, moves into the trumpet chair for the three remaining tracks. This time it’s Barry Harris on piano, Kenny Clarke on drums, and Watkins (again) on bass. The influence on Mobley of swing era tenors, from Lester Young to Illinois Jacquet, can be clearly heard on these tracks. Mobley’s respect for and understanding of the pre-bebop style serve him well in his contribution to the development of the predominant jazz style that followed bebop. In addition to three Mobley originals, there is a blues by Thad Jones and another from Watkins. The standout track is Mobley’s “Space Flight,” a bright, up-tempo bop number that has memorable solos from Mobley, Byrd, Harris, and Clarke. The recording on this CD is very good but, as is common on Savoy reissues, the running time isn’t long — 32 minutes in the case of this jazz message.

Tracks:
01 – Thad’s Blues
02 – Doug’s Minor B’ Ok”
03 – B. for B.B.
04 – Blues Number Two
05 – Space Flight

Personnel:
Hank Mobley – tenor saxophone
Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd – trumpet
Hank Jones, Barry Harris – piano
Doug Watkins – bass
Art Taylor, Kenny Clarke – drums

Recorded on November 7 and July 23; 1956

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Hank Mobley – Jazz Message of Hank Mobley, Volume.1 {Savoy} ”mono”


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Other than a Blue Note date from the previous year, this CD contains tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley’s first two sessions as a leader. With trumpeter Donald Byrd, either Hank Jones or Ronnie Ball on piano, Wendell Marshall or Doug Watkins on bass, drummer Kenny Clarke and (on three numbers) the unusual altoist John LaPorta, Mobley performs a mixture of originals and standards. The results (highlighted by “There’ll Never Be Another You,” “When I Fall in Love” and “Budo”) are a swinging hard bop date. Nothing all that unusual occurs and the CD clocks in at an average LP’s length but the swinging music is easily recommended to straight-ahead jazz fans and (unlike many of Denon’s Savoy reissues), these two sessions are brought back complete.

Tracks:
01 – There’ll Never Be Another You
02 – Cattin’
03 – Madeline
04 – When I Fall in Love
05 – Budo
06 – I Married an Angel
07 – The Jazz Message (with Freedom for All)

Personnel:
Donald Byrd – trumpet
Hank Mobley – tenor saxophone
John LaPorta – alto saxophone
Ronnie Ball, Horace Silver – piano
Doug Watkins, Wendell Marshall – bass
Kenny Clarke – drums

Recorded on February 8, 1956 and January 30, 1956.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Hank Mobley – A Caddy for Daddy {Blue Note} “Analogue Productions”


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Hank Mobley was a perfect artist for Blue Note in the 1960s. A distinctive but not dominant soloist, Mobley was also a very talented writer whose compositions avoided the predictable yet could often be quite melodic and soulful; his tricky originals consistently inspired the young all-stars in Blue Note’s stable. For this CD, which is a straight reissue of a 1965 session, Mobley is joined by trumpeter Lee Morgan, trombonist Curtis Fuller, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Billy Higgins (a typically remarkable Blue Note lineup) for the infectious title cut, three other lesser-known but superior originals, plus Wayne Shorter’s “Venus Di Mildew.” Recommended.

Tracks:
01 – A Caddy for Daddy
02 – The Morning After
03 – Venus Di Mildew
04 – Ace Deuce Trey
05 – 3rd Time Around

Personnel:
Lee Morgan – trumpet
Curtis Fuller – trombone
Hank Mobley – tenor sax
McCoy Tyner – piano
Bob Cranshaw – bass
Billy Higgins – drums

Originally released in 1966 on Blue Note Records as BST-84230.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Donald Byrd & Kenny Burrell – All Night Long {Prestige}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Two of guitarist Kenny Burrell’s best sessions from the 1950s were this release and its companion, All Day Long. Burrell is teamed with an impressive group of young all-stars, including trumpeter Donald Byrd, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, Jerome Richardson on flute and tenor, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor. In addition to the lengthy “All Night Long” and three group originals (two by Mobley and one from Waldron), the original LP program has been augmented by a medley of “Body and Soul” and “Tune Up” from the same session. Jam sessions such as this one are only as good as the solos; fortunately, all of the musicians sound quite inspired, making this an easily recommended set.

Tracks:
01 – All Night Long
02 – Boo-Lu
03 – Flickers
04 – Li’l Hankie
05 – Body & Soul
06 – Tune Up

Personnel:
Donald Byrd – trumpet
Hank Mobley – tenor saxophone
Jerome Richardson – flute, tenor saxophone
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Doug Watkins – bass
Art Taylor – drums

Recorded in Hackensack, NJ; December 28, 1956.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Hank Mobley – Soul Station {Blue Note}[xrcd]


Review by Stacia Proefrock (allmusic.com)

Often overlooked, perhaps because he wasn’t a great innovator in jazz but merely a stellar performer, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley was at the peak of his powers on Soul Station. Recorded with a superstar quartet including Art Blakey on drums, Paul Chambers on bass, and Wynton Kelly on piano, it was the first album since Mobley’s 1955 debut to feature him as a leader without any other accompanying horns. The clean, uncomplicated sound that resulted from that grouping helps make it the best among his albums and a peak moment during a particularly strong period in his career. Mobley has no problem running the show here, and he does it without being flashy or burying the strong work of his sidemen. The solidness of his technique means that he can handle material that is occasionally rhythmically intricate, while still maintaining the kind of easy roundness and warmth displayed by the best players of the swing era. Two carefully chosen standards, “Remember” and “If I Should Lose You,” help to reinforce that impression by casting an eye back to the classic jazz era. They bookend four Mobley originals that, in contrast, reflect the best of small-group composition with their lightness and tight dynamics. Overall, this is a stellar set from one of the more underrated musicians of the bop era.

Tracks:
01 – Remember
02 – This I Dig of You
03 – Dig Dis
04 – Split Feelin’s
05 – Soul Station
06 – If I Should Lose You

Personnel:
Hank Mobley – tenor sax
Wynton Kelly – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Art Blakey – drums

Originally released in 1960 on Blue Note Records as BST-84031.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Kenny Dorham – Whistle Stop {Blue Note} “Analogue Productions”


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Kenny Dorham was always underrated throughout his career, not only as a trumpeter but as a composer. The CD reissue of Whistle Stop features seven of his compositions, none of which have been picked up by any of the “Young Lions” of the ’90s despite their high quality and many fresh melodies. Dorham teams up with tenor-saxophonist Hank Mobley (who he had recorded with previously along with Art Blakey and Max Roach), pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones for a set of lively, fresh, and consistently swinging music. This is a generally overlooked near-classic set.

Tracks:
01 – ‘Philly’ Twist
02 – Buffalo
03 – Sunset
04 – Whistle Stop
05 – Sunrise in Mexico
06 – Windmill
07 – Dorham’s Epitaph

Personnel:
Kenny Dorham – trumpet
Hank Mobley – tenor sax
Kenny Drew – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Philly Joe Jones – drums

Originally released in 1961.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork