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 – 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

John Coltrane – Blue Train {Blue Note}[MFSL]


Review by Lindsay Planer (allmusic.com)

Although never formally signed, an oral agreement between John Coltrane and Blue Note Records founder Alfred Lion was indeed honored on Blue Train — Coltrane’s only collection of sides as a principal artist for the venerable label. The disc is packed solid with sonic evidence of Coltrane’s innate leadership abilities. He not only addresses the tunes at hand, but also simultaneously reinvents himself as a multifaceted interpreter of both hard bop as well as sensitive balladry — touching upon all forms in between. The personnel on Blue Train is arguably as impressive as what they’re playing. Joining Coltrane (tenor sax) are Lee Morgan (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Kenny Drew (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Philly Joe Jones (drums). The triple horn arrangements incorporate an additional sonic density that remains a trademark unique to both this band and album. Of particular note is Fuller’s even-toned trombone, which bops throughout the title track as well as the frenetic “Moments Notice.” Other solos include Paul Chambers’ subtly understated riffs on “Blue Train” as well as the high energy and impact from contributions by Lee Morgan and Kenny Drew during “Locomotion.” The track likewise features some brief but vital contributions from Philly Joe Jones — whose efforts throughout the record stand among his personal best. Of the five sides that comprise the original Blue Train, the Jerome Kern/Johnny Mercer ballad “I’m Old Fashioned” is the only standard; in terms of unadulterated sentiment, this version is arguably untouchable. Fuller’s rich tones and Drew’s tastefully executed solos cleanly wrap around Jones’ steadily languid rhythms. Without reservation, Blue Train can easily be considered in and among the most important and influential entries not only of John Coltrane’s career, but of the entire genre of jazz music as well.

Tracks:
01 – Blue Train
02 – Moment’s Notice
03 – Locomotion
04 – I’m Old Fashioned
05 – Lazy Bird

Personnel:
Lee Morgan – trumpet
Curtis Fuller – trombone
John Coltrane – tenor sax
Kenny Drew – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Philly Joe Jones – drums

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder {Blue Note} “Analogue Productions”


Review by Stacia Proefrock (allmusic.com)

Carried by its almost impossibly infectious eponymous opening track, The Sidewinder helped foreshadow the sounds of boogaloo and soul-jazz with its healthy R&B influence and Latin tinge. While the rest of the album retreats to a more conventional hard bop sound, Morgan’s compositions are forward-thinking and universally solid. Only 25 at the time of its release, Morgan was accomplished (and perhaps cocky) enough to speak of mentoring the great Joe Henderson, who at 26 was just beginning to play dates with Blue Note after getting out of the military. Henderson makes a major contribution to the album, especially on “Totem Pole,” where his solos showed off his singular style, threatening to upstage Morgan, who is also fairly impressive here. Barry Harris, Bob Cranshaw, and Billy Higgins are all in good form throughout the album as well, and the group works together seamlessly to create an album that crackles with energy while maintaining a stylish flow.

Tracks:
01 – The Sidewinder
02 – Totem Pole
03 – Gary’s Notebook
04 – Boy, What a Night
05 – Hocus-Pocus
06 – Totem Pole (alternate)

Personnel:
Lee Morgan – trumpet
Joe Henderson – tenor sax
Barry Harris – piano
Bob Cranshaw – bass
Billy Higgins – drums

Originally released in 1964 on Blue Note as BST-84157

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork