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  • Julien Fraipont

Hank Mobley - Workout



Hello, foolish backbeat lover. How are we doing today?

I'm presenting you a tenor saxophonist who was dissed by Miles Davis and called "middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone".

His tone was, according to people at that time, not as aggressive as Coltrane nor as mellow as Stan Getz, but for me, this wonderful and underrated saxophonist (my favorite actually) has a subtle and melodic style, especially in contrast with players like Sonny Rollins and Coltrane. Really laid-back and blues-grounded. Beautiful.

He got his tenor sax at 16 when he had to stay home because of illness. He tried to enter a music school in Newark, but could not since he was not a resident, so he continued studying through books at home. At 19 he began to work with Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach, Horace Silver and The Jazz Messengers amongst many others. A great career started.

Nice story hmm? Sometimes illness can bring nice things. Now, can you tell who I'm talking about? Yes, no? ... No more unsustainable suspense (😂🤣) I'm talking about the great Henry "Hank" Mobley.

I've chosen for you today the album "Workout". This album was identified by Scott Yanow (American jazz reviewer, historian, and author) as one of 17 Essential Hard Bop Recordings.

Recorded on March 26, 1961, by our good friend Rudy (Van Gelder) and published on the Blue Note label, this album features Hank Mobley (ts), Grant Green (g), Wynton Kelly (p), Big Paul (Chambers) (b) and Philly Joe Jones (d).

You'll find 4 Mobley originals and 2 standards: "Three Coins in the Fountain" and "The Best Things in Life Are Free". Two great titles no? They are beautifully arranged and interpreted by this amazing swinging/grooving quintet.

A must-have in any collection. This album and all the others actually show that he was a much stronger player than a lot of people seemed to think. Just listen to his compositions, his way of playing, his arrangements...

Like always, have fun listening! Go listen to.

Greetings and long live the Jazz.

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© 2020 par JULIEN FRAIPONT.