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Jazz - Released February 8, 2019 | Blue Note

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

Hi-Res Booklet
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Jazz - Released September 1, 1956 | Blue Note

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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