Of all the Blue Note artists of the 1960s, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley may very well be the most underrated. A consistent player whose style evolved throughout the decade, Mobley wrote a series of inventive and challenging compositions that inspired the all-stars he used on his recordings while remaining in the genre of hard bop. For this lesser-known outing, Mobley teams up with trumpeter Donald Byrd, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Billy Higgins for four of his songs (given such colorful titles as "A Dab of This and That," "No Argument," "The Hippity Hop," and "Bossa for Baby"), along with a song apiece from Byrd and Jimmy Heath. An excellent outing, fairly late in the productive career of Hank Mobley.
Tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley recorded frequently for Blue Note in the 1960s (six albums from 1967-1970) and, although overshadowed by the flashier and more avant-garde players, Mobley's output was consistently rewarding. For this overlooked session, which was not issued until 1980 and then finally reissued on CD in 1988, a regular contingent of top Blue Note artists (Mobley, trumpeter Lee Morgan, altoist James Spaulding, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Walter Booker, and drummer Billy Higgins) are joined by a wild card, guitarist Sonny Greenwich.
Leonard Feather once famously described Hank Mobley as 'the middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone.' Middleweights never get much respect. But before drugs and general dissipation got him, Mobley recorded some albums for Blue Note in the 1960s that make time stand still. Soul Station exemplifies the suave, flowing melodicism and erotic rhythmic subtlety that made Mobley unique. With a rhythm section for the ages behind him, Mobley delivers profundities of soul and swing now gone from planet Earth. This Audio Wave reissue uses JVC's XRCD24 mastering and manufacturing technologies and gets you closest to Blue Note's master tapes.
This unusual set was one of the most successful uses of a gospel choir in a jazz context. Trumpeter Donald Byrd and a septet that includes tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and pianist Herbie Hancock are joined by an eight-voice choir directed by Coleridge Perkinson. The arrangements by Duke Pearson are masterful and one song, "Cristo Redentor," became a bit of a hit. This is a memorable effort that is innovative in its own way, a milestone in Donald Byrd's career.
Some of Grant Green's hottest moments as a jazz-funk bandleader came on his live records of the era, which were filled with extended, smoking grooves and gritty ensemble interplay. Live at the Lighthouse makes a fine companion piece to the excellent Alive!, though there are some subtle differences which give the album its own distinct flavor. For starters, the average track length is even greater, with four of the six jams clocking in at over 12 minutes. That makes it easy to get lost in the grooves as the musicians ride and work them over.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and 24 bit remastering. Featuring the work of obscure composer/pianist Todd Cochrane, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson's 1971 album Head On is a highly cerebral and atmospheric affair that is somewhat different than his other equally experimental '70s work. Although the album does feature more of the avant-garde jazz that Hutcherson was exploring during this period, Cochrane's material is heavily influenced by contemporary classical music, and accordingly Head On is more of an exercise in reflective, layered jazz than rambunctious freebop – though it does offer some of that, too.
Reissue. Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (fully compatible with standard CD player) and the latest remastering (24bit 192kHz). Bobby Hutcherson's second quartet session, Oblique, shares both pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Joe Chambers with his first, Happenings (bassist Albert Stinson is a newcomer). However, the approach is somewhat different this time around. For starters, there's less emphasis on Hutcherson originals; he contributes only three of the six pieces, with one from Hancock and two from the typically free-thinking Chambers. And compared to the relatively simple compositions and reflective soloing on Happenings, Oblique is often more complex in its post-bop style and more emotionally direct (despite what the title may suggest).
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (fully compatible with standard CD player) and the latest remastering (24bit 192kHz). Carried by its almost impossibly infectious eponymous opening track, The Sidewinder helped foreshadow the sounds of boogaloo and soul-jazz with its healthy R&B influence and Latin tinge. While the rest of the album retreats to a more conventional hard bop sound, Morgan's compositions are forward-thinking and universally solid. Only 25 at the time of its release, Morgan was accomplished (and perhaps cocky) enough to speak of mentoring the great Joe Henderson, who at 26 was just beginning to play dates with Blue Note after getting out of the military.