World of Jazz Podcast 45 – Hank Mobley Special

This week a selection of tracks from some of the many albums of tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley


  1. Hank Mobley Quartet – Hank’s Prank
  2. Hank Mobley Sextet – Double Whammy
  3. Hank Mobley – Easy To Love
  4. Hank Monley – Gettin’ Into Something
  5. Hank Mobley – A Slice Off The Top
  6. Hank Mobley – High and Flighty (Alt. Take)
  7. Hank Mobley – Workout
  8. Hank Mobley – The Jazz Message (Freedom For All)

As usual you can stream the show from Mixcloud

Background information

  1. Hank Mobley Quartet (1955) This debut of Mobley on Blue Note records includes Horace Silver on piano, Doug Watkins on bass, plus Art Blakey on drums.
  2. Hank Mobley with Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan (1956) Some star guests on this session from late 1956. The rhythm section is Horace Silver, Paul Chambers and Charlie Persip. One of the amazing twenty recordings sessions Mobley was involved in during that year.
  3. Hank (1957)  The following April Mobley was back at Rudy Van Gelders studio with another sextet – Donald Byrd (trumpet) John Jenkins (alto saxophone) Bobby Timmons (piano) Wilbur Ware (bass) and Philly Joe Jones (drums).
  4. Poppin’ (1957) And onto October of the same year. Poppin’ was one of many sessions Mobley recorded in the late ’50s which remained unreleased until the late ’70s. It  is uncleear why this album was left sat on the shelves , given it as good as the other records he recorded at the time. This time around he is leading a sextet featuring trumpeter Art Farmer, baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones.
  5. A Slice Off The Top (1966) One of Hank’s Mobley’s more varied sessions, four of his originals, plus the standard “There’s a Lull in My Life,” are performed by an octet in the cool style of Miles Davis’s “Birth of the Cool” nonet, arranged by Duke Pearson. Although recorded in 1966, this date was not released until 1979 (and reissued on CD in 1995). Mobley who had moved on from his hard bop roots, works well with more  adventurous players as altoist James Spaulding, trumpeter Lee Morgan, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Billy Higgins. The inclusion of Kiane Zawadi on euphonium and Howard Johnson on tuba makes for a different tonal palette and feel.
  6. Peckin’ Time (1958) The Peckin’ Time session was recorded February 9, 1958 (the LP was issued a year later) and came in the midst of what was a period of whirlwind creativity for Mobley, who recorded work for the Savoy and Prestige imprints as well as six full albums for Blue Note in a little more than a year’s time For this session, Mobley found himself working again with Lee Morgan on trumpet and in front of an impressive rhythm section that included pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Charlie Persip,
  7. Workout (1961) One of the best-known Mobley recordings, and for good reason. Although none of his four originals caught on Hank is in top form. He jams on the four tunes, plus “The Best Things in Life Are Free,” with an all-star quintet – guitarist Grant Green, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones – Chambers and Kelly also being members of the current Miles Davis Quintet with Mobley.
  8. The Jazz Message of Hank Mobley (1956) Other than the Blue Note date from the previous year (the first track on the podcast), this release contains Hank Mobley’s first two sessions as a leader. With trumpeter Donald Byrd, either Hank Jones or Ronnie Ball on piano, Wendell Marshall or Doug Watkins on bass, drummer Kenny Clarke and (on three numbers) the unusual altoist John LaPorta.

Mobley Workour

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