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Album Review

With the exception of Hank Mobley's original "Alternating Current," which was left out due to lack of space, this single CD has all of the music from the two Prestige LPs Mobley's Message and Hank Mobley's Second Message; a two-LP set from 1976 which had the same Messages title and catalog number, but also the complete program, is actually the preferred acquisition, but will be difficult to locate. The first session mostly features the fine tenor Hank Mobley jamming on four superior bop standards, including "Bouncing with Bud," "52nd Street Theme" and "Au Privavem" and his own "Minor Disturbance" in a quintet with trumpeter Donald Byrd, pianist Barry Harris, bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Art Taylor; altoist Jackie McLean has a strong cameo on "Au Privave." The second set, recorded a week later, is less of a jam session, with Mobley, trumpeter Kenny Dorham, pianist Walter Bishop, bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Art Taylor essaying three of Mobley's now-obscure compositions, Benny Harris's "Crazeology" and the standards "These Are the Things I Love" and "I Should Care." The two dates give one a good example of Hank Mobley's playing prior to becoming a regular Blue Note artist, where he would create his greatest work.


Born: 07 July 1930 in Eastman, GA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

One of the Blue Note label's definitive hard bop artists, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley remains somewhat underappreciated for his straightforward, swinging style. Any characterization of Mobley invariably begins with critic Leonard Feather's assertion that he was the "middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone," meaning that his tone wasn't as aggressive and thick as John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins, but neither was it as soft and cool as Stan Getz or Lester Young. Instead, Mobley's in-between, "round"...
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Messages, Hank Mobley
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