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Album Review

This LP, although appearing to be "complete," actually reissues half of the earlier LP The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley, which has since come out complete on CD, plus two other slightly later sessions. In any case, the fairly young all-stars (Mobley on tenor, either Donald Byrd or Lee Morgan on trumpets, Ronnie Ball, Barry Harris or Hank Jones on piano, bassist Doug Watkins, and either Kenny Clarke or Art Taylor on drums) play as well as one would expect. Elevating this music above the level of a typical jam session is that five of the compositions are Mobley's and, although none became a standard, the challenging originals generally inspired the players. Until the later two sessions are reissued on CD, this LP, which came out in 1979, is worth searching for.


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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Hard Bop, Hank Mobley
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