Hank Mobley has a very interesting start to his career as a premiere jazz saxophonist, it goes like this:
Mobley was born in Eastman, Georgia, but was raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey, near Newark. When he was 16, an illness kept him in the house for several months. His uncle thought of buying a saxophone to help him occupy his time, and it was then that Mobley began to play. He tried to enter a music school in Newark, but couldn’t, since he was not a resident, so he kept studying through books at home. At 19, he started to play with local bands and, months later, worked for the first time with musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach…..Learn more
As you can see in his discography on the link above, this 1957 album, “Hank Mobley Quintet” was already his 8th as a leader in a span of two years (1955-57). That’s an incredible feat and each one of those recordings are gems. His success at such an early age was aided by the company he kept which comprised of legendary elite jazz musicians, this helped his effort, but it was possible because he was that talented. If not, he would never have the opportunity to play with these all stars. Here, he was accompanied by Art Blakey on drums, Doug Watkins on bass, Horace Silver on piano and Art Farmer on flugelhorn. Great album, a must have, enjoy!
About the album:
With all the tenor sax titans prevalent in the late ’50s and early ’60s, including Rollins, Coltrane, Getz, and Shorter, Hank Mobley nearly got lost in the shuffle. While not as edgy as the above, Mobley had a uniquely bittersweet, not-hard-yet-not-soft tone, and his reputation has grown after his passing. QUINTET is a 1957 Blue Note session featuring almost the entire early edition of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, except with Mobley the leader (and Art Farmer instead of Donald Byrd). Like Blakey’s recordings of this period, QUINTET includes overtones of the then-developing soul-jazz sound……..Read More