Hank Mobley - Quintet

Blue Note

Recording Date: Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, March 8, 1957

Re-release date (RVG Edition): September 2nd 2008

Availabilty: CD, MP3 download, iTunes

Quintet cover

The revival of interest in Hank Mobley's music gains pace with release in the same month of three remastered albums featuring the undervalued tenor sax player and composer.

"Quintet" essentially features the typical Art Blakey Jazz Messengers line up of 55/56 vintage with Art Farmer replacing Kenny Dorham. The band is: Hank Mobley (tenor sax), Art Farmer (trumpet), Horace Silver (piano), Doug Watkins (bass), Art Blakey (drums).

It is not just that this is the high energy, high quality hard bop that you would expect from such a line-up; all tracks are original Hank Mobley compositions, highlightig not just his undervalued talent in tenor sax but also his largely unrecognized talents as a composer.

An intensely modest man troubled throughout his career by drugs problems, Hank Mobley had an almost instinctive ability for jazz composition, often developing his most creative and innovative work on the spot, in the studio.

The six compositions on view here display everything that is good in Hank Mobley's music. "Funk In Deep Freeze" and "Wham And They're Off" are driving uptempo hard bop at its best. "Fin De L'affaire (End Of The Affair)" is a luscious, slow ballad of regret. "Startin' From Scratch" is an angular, clever, uptempo blues. "Stella-Wise" is a preachy blues in the best Jazz Messengers tradition. "Bass On Balls" is a standard blues, based around an insistent bass riff, slow paced, building via Horace Silver's extended piano solo into expressive solos by Hank Mobley and then Art Farmer.

There are alternate takes of "Funk In Deep Freeze" and "Wham And They're Off".

This is a very rewarding album, testament to what was lost when Hank Mobley's later career failed to deliver on his great musical talent.

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Read our review of Hank Mobley's album "Peckin' Time"

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