The latest album that I will be featuring is Hank’s Mobley’s “No Room for Squares” Album. This is an all-star lineup as all of Hank Mobley’s work is usually done. He was in the thick of things and deservedly because he played as equally well as all the other greats. Unfortunately, he is never mention in the same breath with the other Hall of Famers. Learn more about him here:
As one of the founding members of the original Jazz Messengers, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley was part of a brilliant innovation. Bebop’s second generation of players had pulled the music into a tailspin of virtuosity. But there was a new inspirational sound taking hold, with roots in gospel and blues. By combining the best of bebop with the soulful new thing springing up, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley and Doug Watkins fashioned a sound with a percussive, street feel inspired by the hot steam grates and pavement they walked, the propulsive drive of the lives they were leading.
Mobley was born in Eastman, Georgia, but was raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey, near Newark. Early in his career, he worked with Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach. He took part on one of the landmark hard bop sessions, alongside Blakey, Silver and trumpeter Kenny Dorham. The results of these sessions were….Learn More
Here’s Review of a book about him:
Workout: The Music of Hank Mobley By Derek Ansell
A Review by Mike Falcon
Hank Mobley’s music is well documented. Hank recorded a wealth of material that fans are still enjoying a half-century later, perhaps more than ever. But, for a very long time, any fan wanting to know more about Hank’s life had a hard time finding anything. Searching the Internet yields little. Searching back issues of jazz periodicals looking for any interviews wouldn’t yield much. Derek Ansell explains in Workout: The Music of Hank Mobley that Hank only gave one substantial interview throughout his career. The interview occurred in 1973 when his career was in a steep decline. Other than this, Ansell was forced to piece together a picture of Hank from what little others had to say about him.
Hank moved to New York from New Jersey in 1951 on an invitation from Max Roach to play in his band…..Learn More
HANK MOBLEYHenry (Hank) Mobley has been called “The middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone.”
Blue Note Records
That is to say, he is not to be compared (and this judgment is made in terms of size of sound as well as such values as fame, fortune and poll victories) with heavyweights like Coleman Hawkins or John Coltrane; nor is there any necessity to relate him to the tonal lightweights, headed by Stan Getz and the various artists of this school who came to prominence around the same time.
Hank is the middleweight champion because his sound, as he once put it himself, is “not a big sound, not a small sound, just a round sound” and because, while fads and fancies change, he has remained for some 15 years a consistently successful performer, working almost exclusively as a sideman except on records, and retaining a firm, loyal following.
Hank was born in Eastman, Georgia, July 7, 1930, but was raised in New Jersey. He studied with a private teacher. When he was 20 years old he played in Paul Gayten’s orchestra. A year later he came to the attention of jazz fans and critics through an association with Max Roach that lasted off and on for two or three years.
After working with Dizzy Gillespie for six months in 1954, he began jobbing with Horace Silver later that year at Minton’s Play House and other New York clubs. This group evolved into the Jazz Messengers, under the leadership of Art Blakey. Hank remained with Art and Horace until September, 1956, when he and Horace quit Art to join forces in the latter’s new group.
During the next four years Hank was heard with Silver, Roach and Thelonious Monk, rejoining Blakey in 1959. During the next year or two he appeared at many of the special Monday night sessions at Birdland, worked with the British trumpeter Dizzy Reece, and was heard for a while with Miles Davis.
As critic Joe Goldberg once observed, Mobley is not a musician who can easily be classified or categorized: “Writers on jazz like to trot out such phrases as Hawkins-informed, Young-derived, Rollins-influenced and the like, and then, having formed their pigeon-hole, they proceed to drop the musician under discussion into it…Mobley, to be sure, is associated with East Coast musicians and material, but he has never had the so-called “hard bop” sound that is generally a part of the equipment of such tenor men.” Mobley, Goldberg went on to point out, worked out a style of his own, unspectacularly but with unmistakable success.
Mobley has been a recording bandleader for Blue Note since 1960, when his first album, Soul Station, was received with critical acclaim. Sidemen on his dates have included Blakey, Silver, Wynton Kelly, Grant Green, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson and Donald Byrd. Hank has also recorded numerous Blue Note dates under the leadership of other musicians, including Jimmy Smith, Curtis Fuller, Johnny Griffin, Dizzy Reece, and of course Silver and Blakey.
More on the album here:
The Rudy Van Gelder Edition of NO ROOM FOR SQUARES contains two tracks, “Up A Step” and “Old World, New Imports” that were recorded at an earlier session but appeared on the original LP. The tracks “Syrup And Biscuits” and “Comin’ Back” that appeared on the first CD release of this album are omitted from this edition.
Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Rudy Van Gelder (2000, Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey).
This is part of the Blue Note Rudy Van Gelder Editions series.
NO ROOM FOR SQUARES is one of the more inventive titles in the Blue Note catalog. This is certainly an apt description for a session that includes the very hip Mobley and accompaniment from the swinging Lee Morgan, creative piano master Andrew Hill, sturdy bassist John Ore, and the powerful Philly Joe Jones on drums. Mobley’s confident tenor wail is in full force here, as he and Morgan blow through the all-original program with strong support from the daring rhythm section. SQUARES is among Mobley’s most raucous sessions. This is evident on energized tracks like the opening title track and the Latin-tinged “Three Way Split.” Also featured is Morgan’s lush ballad “Carolyn.” In all, this is another stunning hard bop classic.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on March 7 and October 2, 1963. Originally released on Blue Note (4149). Includes liner notes by Joe Goldberg and Bob Blumenthal……Learn More