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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions Stereophile: Record To Die For
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released June 12, 1958 | Blue Note

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Although his is a rather less charming sound than that of a John Coltrane or a Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley is still a master of the tenor saxophone. The famous critic Leonard Feathers, the author of many album liner notes, would describe him "the middleweight champion of tenor sax". With daring solos, often of pleasing complexity, this Georgian who grew up in New Jersey was one of the great standard bearers for that unique hard bop that rang out on several Blue Note albums in the 50s and 60s. It was on this famous label that Mobley, a marathon runner of the recording studio, put out thirty records or more. On this record in particular, the then-27-year-old jazzman is accompanied by Bill Hardman on the trumpet, Curtis Porter on the saxophone, Sonny Clark on the piano, Paul Chambers on double bass, and Art Taylor on drums. A flawless session (as were almost all the Blue Note productions of that era), recorded in a single day (23 June 1957) throughout which Hank Mobley (one year on from leaving the Jazz Messengers, which he had founded with Horace Silver and Art Blakey) carefully ensures that his former bandmates stay focussed on a soothing swing. Across the following decade, with masterpieces like Soul Station (1960), Workout (1961), No Room For Squares (1963) and The Turnaround! (1965), Mobley took another step with an even more original and unique style and sidemen of quite a different calibre (Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Andrew Hill, Herbie Hancock, Philly Joe Jones). While we wait for more, this eponymous Hank Mobley and its superb sleeve make for a fine rediscovery. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1960 | Blue Note Records

From the first moment when Art Blakey comes crashing in to establish a kinetic Latin groove on the eponymous opening song, Hank Mobley's Roll Call explodes with energy. The first horn heard here is actually Freddie Hubbard's trumpet, foreshadowing the prominent role that he would have in the sound of this album. The quintet all work together flawlessly here, but Hubbard particularly shines as he plays off of Mobley's fluid riffs and carries more than a few lines himself, sounding particularly athletic and effortless on the closing track, "The Breakdown." Mobley's performance throughout the recording is stylish without being restrained, and the strength of his songwriting shines on five of the album's six songs. A warm, laid-back, sweet version of "The More I See You" is also included, with a muted Hubbard sounding very much like Miles Davis. It is a nice complement to this collection of originals, which has often been overshadowed by Mobley's other late-'50s and early-'60s work but is definitely deserving of some attention of its own. ~ Stacia Proefrock
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Blue Note Records

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The Hank Mobley of the Turnaround album was a markedly different one from a few years earlier. This session issued in early 1965 was the product of two different sessions. The first was in March of 1963, immediately after Mobley left the Miles Davis band. Those recordings produced "East of the Village," possibly the greatest example of Mobley's "round tone" on record, and the other was "The Good Life," a ballad. The rest was recorded nearly two years later in February of 1965. The title cut was produced here -- an Alfred Lion answer to Lee Morgan's "Sidewinder," which was burning up the charts -- as well as the beautiful "Pat 'n' Chat," with "Straight Ahead" and "My Sin" rounding out the program. On the earlier material, Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock, Butch Warren, and Philly Jo Jones helped Mobley out, and on the latter it was Freddie Hubbard, Barry Harris, Paul Chambers, and Billy Higgins. In each case, there were alumnus members of the Miles band Mobley had played in. The main thing about "East of the Village" is the striking difference between the gorgeous melding of Latin and post-bop, straight-ahead rhythms, and the easy, loping blues feel that is cheered on by Jones. This track contains one of Mobley's most memorable solos. On the title track and "Pat 'n' Chat," there are elongated blues structures; in the former -- it is an unusual 18 bar figure -- and in the latter, there is the major 44 bar pattern that sounds like a blues with a bridge when the AABA pattern is invoked. Here is the evolution of Mobley's tone in full flower, all but gone is the rounded, warm sound, and in its place is a shorter, declarative, bluesier tone with real bite that is perfect for pianists like Harris, who were used to the deeper funk of the Detroit sound. In all this is a solid date, despite its time lapse, and one that gives us a solid picture of the two Mobleys. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1961 | Blue Note

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1965 | Blue Note Records

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. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released May 6, 2016 | Prestige

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Blue Note Records

Why any critic would think that Hank Mobley was at the end of his creative spark in 1963 -- a commonly if stupidly held view among the eggheads who do this for a living -- is ridiculous, as this fine session proves. By 1963, Mobley had undergone a transformation of tone. Replacing the scintillating airiness of his late-'50s sides was a harder, more strident, almost honking one, due in part to the influence of John Coltrane and in part to Mobley's deeper concentration on the expressing blues feeling in his trademark hard bop tunes. The CD version of this album sets the record straight, dropping some tunes form a session months earlier and replacing them with alternate takes of the title cut and "Carolyn" for historical integrity, as well as adding "Syrup and Biscuits" and "Comin' Back." Mobley assembled a crack band for this blues-drenched hard-rollicking set made up of material written by either him or trumpeter Lee Morgan. Other members of the ensemble were pianist Andrew Hill, drummer Philly Joe Jones, and bassist John Ore. The title track, which opens the set, is a stand-in metaphor for the rest: Mobley's strong and knotty off-minor front-line trading fours with Hill that moves into brief but aggressive soloing for he and Morgan and brings the melody back, altered with the changes from Hill. On Morgan's "Me 'n' You," an aggressive but short bluesed-out vamp backed by a mutated samba beat, comes right out of the Art Blakey book of the blues and is articulated wonderfully by Mobley's solo, which alternates between short, clipped phrases along the line of the changes and longer trill and ostinatos where the end of a musical line is dictated by his breath rather than a chord change. Morgan is in the pocket of the blue shades, coloring the ends of his lines with trills and short staccato bursts, warping them in Hill's open, chromatic voicings. All eight cuts here move with similar fluidity and offer a very gritty and realist approach to the roots of hard bop. Highly recommended. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Blue Note Records

Straight No Filter finds tenor Hank Mobley in several settings from the mid-'60s, each of them excellent. The overall roster is quite impressive, starting with the first set which features trumpeter Lee Morgan, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Billy Higgins. The upbeat title cut is given a loose, post-bop feel by Tyner's comping, but things are brought back to earth by Mobley's emotional playing. A number of exchanges between Morgan and Mobley's horns give the piece an effective ending. "Chain Reaction" gives this group nearly 11 minutes to stretch things out, while "Soft Impressions" features a heavy blues groove. A couple of other standouts on this album -- "This Feelin's Good" and "Yes Indeed" -- feature trumpeter Donald Byrd, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Butch Warren, and drummer Philly Joe Jones. Hancock provides a distinctive backdrop for Mobley and Morgan's solos while turning in some fine work himself. Mobley shines on Sy Oliver's "Yes Indeed," delivering a soulful solo, shot through with the blues. His playing throughout Straight No Filter is warm, accessible, and inventive, and it is instructive to have these sessions side by side, giving the listener a chance to compare Mobley's work in different settings. It should be mentioned that he penned eight out of the nine of these fine compositions. Bob Blumenthal's liner notes are helpful, breaking down the individual sessions and providing a good overview of Mobley's career. Straight No Filter will be welcomed by Mobley's fans and lovers of hard bop. It shouldn't be missed. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
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Jazz - Released June 12, 1958 | Blue Note

Although his is a rather less charming sound than that of a John Coltrane or a Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley is still a master of the tenor saxophone. The famous critic Leonard Feathers, the author of many album liner notes, would describe him "the middleweight champion of tenor sax". With daring solos, often of pleasing complexity, this Georgian who grew up in New Jersey was one of the great standard bearers for that unique hard bop that rang out on several Blue Note albums in the 50s and 60s. It was on this famous label that Mobley, a marathon runner of the recording studio, put out thirty records or more. On this record in particular, the then-27-year-old jazzman is accompanied by Bill Hardman on the trumpet, Curtis Porter on the saxophone, Sonny Clark on the piano, Paul Chambers on double bass, and Art Taylor on drums. A flawless session (as were almost all the Blue Note productions of that era), recorded in a single day (23 June 1957) throughout which Hank Mobley (one year on from leaving the Jazz Messengers, which he had founded with Horace Silver and Art Blakey) carefully ensures that his former bandmates stay focussed on a soothing swing. Across the following decade, with masterpieces like Soul Station (1960), Workout (1961), No Room For Squares (1963) and The Turnaround! (1965), Mobley took another step with an even more original and unique style and sidemen of quite a different calibre (Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Andrew Hill, Herbie Hancock, Philly Joe Jones). While we wait for more, this eponymous Hank Mobley and its superb sleeve make for a fine rediscovery. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Blue Note Records

This LP has material from 1961 that for no real reason went unreleased until 1985. One song, "Three Coins in a Fountain," is from the same session that resulted in tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley's famous Workout session with guitarist Grant Green, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones. The other five numbers -- three obscure Mobley originals, plus "I Should Care" and "Hello Young Lovers" -- are from the previously unheard December 5, 1961 session with the same personnel except for Green. Hank Mobley was in a prime period around this time, and all of his Blue Note recordings are well worth picking up. ~ Scott Yanow