Monday, December 24, 2018

"My Groove, Your Move" - The Music of Hank Mobley 10.29.1990 - Part 1 - Booklet

© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.


“The music and recording career of Hank Mobley reflects the period in jazz history from 1955-1970. With a reputation as a highly creative and inventive player, his life as a recording artist started to mature while serving an apprenticeship with Max Roach. Following that period, between 1955 and 1958, he went on to record eight albums as a leader for Blue Note Records, while making legendary contributions to the Jazz Messengers and groups led by his friends, like Horace Silver. During these years he developed an original style characterized by a soft, warm and compellingly lyrical sound.


The 60s provided Hank with an equally fertile environment. SOUL STATION,
ROLL CALL, WORKOUT and ANOTHER WORKOUT, for example, were recorded in 1960 and 1961. In 1961 he also became a member of the Miles Davis Quintet. As Cedar Walton comments, "Miles Davis’ choice of Hank to succeed John Coltrane in his quintet demonstrated how highly regarded Hank was in jazz circles." Hank continued developing his craft through
the 60s, giving us NO ROOM FOR SQUARES (1963) along the way. His last session as a leader was in 1970, but wasn't released until 1980 (THINKING OF HOME).”
- Don Sickler, Second Floor Music


"The most lyrical saxophonist I've ever heard. He sang into his horn. And obviously what he 'sang' came directly from his heart. Those beautiful things accurately reflected what a loving and sensitive man he was—always low keyed but profound. We all learned something from Hank."
- Benny Golson


"Hank had that pretty, warm sound. I mean, It was so fluid. He had good control, for a youngster. You wonder where a guy that young could have teamed that kind of control." ...


The thing in particular I remember about Hank, is how happy he was, and smiling, and how beautiful he was on all the things we did together."
- Curtis Fuller


“We did a lot of Hank's tunes then and I still play them today. All of his tunes flow so freely, you can really swing with them — I mean really swing! I travel a lot and I hear Hank's music everywhere I go. Hank's music is played all over the world."
- Al Grey


As a memoriam to Hank Mobley and his music, on Monday, October 29, 1990, Don Sickler with the assistance of Kimberly Ewing produced "My Groove, Your Move" - The Music of Hank Mobley” which was performed at the Weill Recital Hall located in Carnegie Hall in New York City.


A special program and booklet was given to the audience in attendance that evening and thanks to the generosity of Grammy Award winning author and critic Bob Blumenthal, the editorial staff at JazzProfiles, as part of our quest to uncover and represent as much about Hank and his music as possible on these pages, is able to bring you a facsimile of these documents in the form of this blog posting .


This is rare memorabilia about Hank Mobley, an all-but-forgotten artist who was deserving of so much more recognition both as an original stylist on tenor saxophone and as one of the significant composer of many modern Jazz standards.


© -Don Sickler, copyright protected; all rights reserved


This limited edition program was created In conjunction with the "My Groove, Your Move' concert tribute to Hank Mobley held on October 29,199O at Weill! Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. The concert was made possible In part by a grant from the National Endowment For The Arts. Additional support was provided by Blue Note Records and Second Floor Music. Copyright-SEC0ND FLOOR MUSIC


BOOKLET


Foreword


“With this concert and program booklet we hope to provide a different perspective — an "inside" look at an artist's creative output during a seminal time in jazz history. The time to which we refer ran from the early 1950s through the 1960s, when the recording climate for jazz was at one of its highest peaks.


Young artists of the day, like Hank, Horace Silver and Art Blakey were in the recording studio much more frequently than artists are today. When they weren't in the studio, they were gigging or jamming together. The result of all of this activity, combined with the tremendous talent and dedication of the artists, provided some of the greatest music ever to grace the archives of record companies like Blue Note, Savoy and Prestige.


Through the performance of the compositions presented this evening, the words of the musicians involved and the remarkable photographs by Francis Wolff, we hope you will sense the spirit of the time. A time that is best described here by ons of the musicians who lived it — Cedar Walton:


"In those days there was a lot of recording, a lot of playing together, and our approach to the music was definitely a life approach. Our music expressed how we were thinking, feeling and living, and our inspiration came from each other — from the admiration we had for each others' talent and intelligence. It was a very creative time for the music. Yes, we were rebelling against the past, rebelling against bebop, but we had something very valid of our own to say. Using the foundation laid down by bebop, we were building a whole new vocabulary for jazz."


The music and recording career of Hank Mobley reflects that period in jazz history. With a reputation as a highly creative and inventive player, his life as a recording artist started to mature while serving an apprenticeship with Max Roach. Following that period, between 1955 and 1958, he went on to record eight albums as a leader for Blue Note Records, while making legendary contributions to the Jazz Messengers and groups led by his friends, like Horace Silver. During these years he developed an original style characterized by a soft, warm and compellingly lyrical sound.


The 60s provided Hank with an equally fertile environment. SOULSTATION,
ROLL CALL, WORKOUT and ANOTHER WORKOUT, for example, were recorded in 1960 and 1961. In 1961 he also became a member of the Miles Davis Quintet. As Cedar Walton comments, "Miles Davis’ choice of Hank to succeed John Coltrane in his quintet demonstrated how highly regarded Hank was in jazz circles." Hank continued developing his craft through
the 60s, giving us NO ROOM FOR SQUARES (1963) along the way. His last session as a leader was in 1970, but wasn't released until 1980 (THINKING OF HOME).


An examination of Hank's output as a composer is revealing. He contributed over 140 compositions to recording dates, creating a repertoire of intriguing variety. This evening's concert, while paying tribute to his overall talent as a musical artist, focuses primarily on his ability as a composer. As Art Farmer once so accurately exclaimed, "He was a damn good composer!"


It was very important for us, as producers of this tribute, to work with musicians who performed and recorded with Hank, and who were active during that particular time in jazz history. Those you see on stage this evening are not the only ones who were involved in this production. We interviewed many others in our quest for accurate biographical information on Hank, including the recording engineer who recorded the majority of Hank's sessions, Rudy Van Gelder.


It is our sincerest hope that you will find this booklet informative and enlightening. Yet most of all, we hope the entire production is worthy of the very talented and much loved Henry "Hank" Mobley.”


Second Floor Music
October 29, 1990


Hank Mobley, My Groove, Your Move


“Ah, yes, the Hankenstein. He was s-o-o-o-o-o hip." That was the response of Dexter Gordon when Hank Mobley's name came up in a conversation between Gordon and writer Larry Karl, who wrote the notes for Hank's POPPIN' LP. "Hankenstein" most surely identifies Mobley as a genuine "monster," while the slow motion relish of "he was s-o-o-o-o-o hip" seems to have musical and extra-musical implications.


Hank was a natural musician and a quick learner who was largely self-taught. He started playing saxophone at age 16, inspired by a home environment that was rich with music. Hank's uncle, Dan Mobley, was a multi-instrumentalist who, according to Hank, "had a jazz band like Count Basie or The Savoy Sultans." Continuing about his family, Hank explained, "My mother wasn't a musician, but if you played something that didn't sound right to her, if she couldn't pat her foot to it, she'd probably throw her chair at you." His grandmother Emma, a pioneer black opera singer who also played piano and organ, helped Hank get the books he needed to study theory and harmony at home. Hank's early influences on the tenor saxophone included Dexter Gordon, Lester Young and Wardell Gray.


Hank was hired for his first professional gig in 1950, when he was 19, touring and recording with rhythm and blues man Paul Gayten's band. The great respect Gayten had for his young sideman's knowledge and talent is apparent in his recollections of their association:


"It happened in a strange way, Hank was recommended to me by someone who had never met or heard him, but simply knew about him by reputation — Clifford Brown. I was working around Newark, but Clifford was hospitalized in Wilmington after being seriously injured in a car crash. I saw him in Wilmington and he hipped me to some of the guys I could find to work for me in that area. He said he'd heard about this wonderful 19 year old tenorman who was coming up fast. I wound up with a band that included not only Hank, but also Sam Woodyard, Cecil Payne, Aaron Bell and sometimes Clark Terry. Hank was beautiful, he played alto, tenor and baritone and did a lot of writing. He took care of business and I could really leave things up to him. He was on some records that we made, but the band had to play mostly rhythm and blues. Whenever we got a chance though, we'd stretch out on something like Half Nelson and you could really hear that some exciting things were going to happen with Hank. He stayed with me until I broke up the band at the Savoy in New York in 1951. He was one of the greatest sidemen I ever had."


In 1951, soon after leaving Gayten's group, Mobley worked in the house band of a Newark club along with Walter Davis Jr., until both of them were hired by Max Roach. Officially introduced by Roach to the New York jazz scene, Hank quickly earned a spot among New York's best and brightest recording stars. In 1953, Hank was featured on two 10" LPs with Roach's group on the Mingus/Roach Debut label.


Max's band broke up after those two sessions, but Mobley found freelance work which included night club gigs, studio sessions, another tour with Gayten, and a stint with Duke Ellington.


In an interview by John Litweiler for Downbeat magazine, Hank recalled his brief experience with Ellington's band: "Jimmy Hamilton had to have some dental work done. Oscar Pettiford called me; I didn't play clarinet, but I played some of the clarinet parts on tenor. Paul Gonsalves, Willie Cook, Ray Nance and myself, we were the four Horseman…." In the summer of 1953
Mobley worked with Clifford Brown in Tadd Dameron's Club Harlem band in Atlantic City. Later that year Hank joined Dizzy Gillespie's big band and recorded with them twice. He also did a quintet and a sextet recording with Gillespie's group. After a year with Dizzy, Hank joined Horace Silver.


Horace's quartet, with Hank, Arthur Edgehill (drums) and Doug Watkins (bass), was playing at Minton's in New York City when Horace was approached by Alfred Lion of Blue Note Records. According to Horace, who had already made two trio recordings for that label, Alfred wanted him to do a third. "I said I'd like to do something with horns this time. And he said, 'Well, who do you want to use?' I said Hank Mobley and Doug Watkins, and instead of using the drummer here at the club, I'd like to use Art Blakey, and Kenny Dorham. We got together and rehearsed at Minton's, during the daytime, and then we did the session. We kind of liked the way we sounded together, enjoyed playing together, and said we ought to try to get some gigs." That was how the Jazz Messengers got started.


Hank further described the beginnings of that cooperative group: "Out of that [session] we started feeling something, and we said, 'Let's do our thing, we all got something going name-wise, if anyone gets a job let's use all of us.' Horace would get a job, or Art, or Kenny or I'd get a job; we'd split the money equally. I think that's where the cooperative thing started."


The Jazz Messengers cooperative, with Hank, Kenny Dorham, Horace Silver, Doug Watkins and Art Blakey, became the most influential hard bop group of all. Blue Note recorded their first session on November 13, 1954 which, coupled with a session recorded on February 6, 1955, became the LP entitled HORACE SILVER AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS. This 1954 date marked the beginning of an association between Hank and Blue Note Records that spanned three decades.


The Jazz Messengers continued to work together as a unit whenever they could, but as Horace described it, "The first gigs we got as a group, with the Messengers, were few and far between." But they soon began to record together in various combinations with bewildering frequency. For example, Hank, Horace and Art joined Kenny on his first AFRO CUBAN session, which was sandwiched in on January 29,1955, between the two Horace Silver and the Jazz Messenger dates and finally completed on March 29. On March 19, Hank and Art joined Julius Watkins for his Blue Note sextet date. Eight days later (March 27, 1955), Hank was back in the studio recording his first date as a leader, a Blue Note quartet session with the Messengers' rhythm section backing him up. This session came out as a 10" LP titled HANK MOBLEY QUARTET.


On June 6, Hank and Horace went into the studio again, for a Blue Note session led by J.J. Johnson. Five months later, on November 23,1955, the Messengers got together at New York's Cafe Bohemia to do a live club recording. Recorded on location by Rudy Van Gelder, the Bohemia date eventually produced three albums worth of Jazz Messenger material for Blue Note. That month, Kenny Dorham left the Messengers to form his own group and the trumpet honors were turned over to Donald Byrd. Oddly enough, Donald's first recording with Hank and the Messenger rhythm section wasn't on a Jazz Messenger session but on Donald's own date. That Transition album, also featuring trumpeter Joe Gordon, was recorded on December 2, 1955 in Cambridge, Mass., while the group was working in Boston.


Hank's second session as leader, on February 8,1956 was for the Savoy label. Donald and Doug joined Hank for this one, along with pianist Ronnie Ball and drummer Kenny Clarke. The original Jazz Messengers made their last recording, for Columbia, over two sessions, on April 5 and May 4 in New York City. On May 3 the group also accompanied singer Rita Reys for her Columbia date. However, soon after these sessions, the Jazz Messengers disbanded. When the group later reformed, subsequent albums were made under the leadership of Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers.


Shortly after their last recording with the Messengers, Hank and Donald returned to Van Gelder's studio for a Prestige session led by pianist/composer Elmo Hope. This was the first time Hank recorded with three musicians who would appear often in his recording career: Paul Chambers (P.C.), "Philly" Joe Jones and John Coltrane.


July 1956 was a busy recording month for Hank. He recorded two Horace Silver sessions for Epic records: the first included Doug Watkins, Joe Gordon on trumpet, and drummer Kenny Clarke. For the second session, Donald Byrd took Gordon's place while Arthur Taylor (A.T.) replaced Clarke.


On July 20, two days after the Epic sessions, Hank, Donald, Doug and A.T. were back in Hackensack, recording Hank's third album as a leader, this time for Prestige. Barry Harris was on piano and Jackie McLean was featured on one selection. On the same day, Hank returned the favor to Jackie, playing on one selection which completed an album Jackie was making for Prestige. Pianist Mal Waldron was the only change in personnel for the McLean session.


On July 23, Hank recorded three selections at Rudy's for Savoy. They were used on what became Hank's third album released by that label, his fourth as a leader: THE JAZZ MESSAGE OF HANK MOBLEY NO. 2. Before completing this album and doing another for Savoy, Hank recorded a quintet session for Prestige. This date reunited Hank with Kenny Dorham and also featured Walter Bishop Jr., Doug Watkins and A.T. Released as HANK MOBLEY'S SECOND MESSAGE, it was his fifth album as a leader.


In a change of pace, Hank joined John Coltrane, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims on a four tenor sax date for Prestige. It was called TENOR CONCLAVE and was recorded on September 7 with the rhythm section of Red Garland, P.C. and A.T.


On November 5 and 7 Hank completed the material he had begun recording for Savoy in July. Some of the takes became part of Savoy's second Hank Mobley release entitled HANK MOBLEY—INTRODUCING LEE MORGAN, while the remaining music was included on THE JAZZ MESSAGE OF HANK MOBLEY NO. 2. Despite Savoy's album title, Blue Note actually recorded Lee Morgan one day earlier (November 4).


In August of 1956 Hank became a member of Horace Silver's new quintet. They recorded for Blue Note in November, producing Silver's THE six PIECES OF SILVER. Before his next album as a leader, Hank recorded again as a sideman with Kenny Drew, Addison Farmer and Elvin Jones on Art Farmer's FARMER'S MARKET, recorded for the New Jazz label on November 23. On November 25, the Hank Mobley Sextet recorded for Blue Note. In addition to Hank, the front line included Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan. Horace and P.C. were joined by Mobley's childhood friend and the drummer on all of Hank's dates with Dizzy Gillespie, Charli Persip.


On December 2,1956 Hank played on a Lee Morgan sextet date for Blue Note. He did another sextet date, in Detroit on December 8, with Doug Watkins for the Transition label. The session produced the WATKINS AT LARGE LP which also featured Donald Byrd, Kenny Burrell, Duke Jordan and A.T. (some sources give November 1955 as the recording date). On December 28, Hank returned to Van Gelder's to record the Kenny Burrell Prestige session ALL NIGHT LONG.


The original Messengers' rhythm section was reunited for Hank's next session as a leader on January 13,1957. The album was entitled HANK MOBLEY AND HIS ALL STARS and also featured Milt Jackson on vibes. Hank used the Messengers rhythm section once again, along with Art Farmer, when he recorded the HANK MOBLEY QUINTET (March 8). However, before that date he worked as a sideman on another Kenny Burrell session and a Jimmy Smith date for Blue Note.


On March 28, 1957, Hank recorded three selections on a Kenny Drew quintet session for Riverside Records in New York City. The following month (April 6) Hank participated in Johnny Griffin's Blue Note A BLOWING SESSION, which included a front tine of three tenors (the third being John Coltrane) and one trumpet (Lee Morgan). The rhythm section included P.C. and Blakey, and marked Hank's first recording with a pianist he played and recorded with many times, Wynton Kelly.


HANK, a sextet date, was recorded later in April at Van Gelder's with pianist Bobby Timmons, Philly Joe Jones, Donald Byrd, John Jenkins on alto and bassist Wilbur Ware, whom Hank had recorded with less than a month before on the Kenny Drew date.


Hank's next record date (May 8, 1957) was his last with Horace Silver. It was for Horace's THE STYLINGS OF SILVER and featured Art Farmer on trumpet. Hank was a member of Horace's working Quintet from August of 1956 until shortly after this album was completed.


Curtis Fuller asked Hank to join him on Curtis' first Blue Note date as a leader, THE OPENER, recorded for Blue Note on June 16, 1957, only fourteen days after Curtis' first Blue Note sideman date, on Clifford Jordan's CLIFF CRAFT. One week after THE OPENER, Hank recorded HANK MOBLEY, a sextet date, with Bill Hardman (trumpet), Curtis Porter (alto and tenor) and Hank in the front line. The rhythm section consisted of P.C., A.T. and pianist Sonny Clark.


Hank played on one date in July with Art Farmer, Curtis Fuller, Wilbur Ware and Louis Hayes: Sonny Clark's DIAL S FOR SONNY. Louis Hayes never recorded with Hank on any of Hank's own dates, but he played on Horace's last two dates with Hank. They also recorded together on a Kenny Burrell session mentioned earlier, and in December of 1960, they worked together on a Kenny Drew date.


Sonny Clark was on Hank's next two sessions, which were recorded on August 18 and October 20,1957. These sessions were released only in Japan. Kenny Dorham and A.T. were on the first session while Art Farmer, Pepper Adams (baritone sax), P.C. and Philly Joe were on the second one.

Hank had left Horace Silver's quintet to rejoin Max Roach, whose group did two recording sessions. The first, on December 23 in New York City, was a pianoless quartet date, with Kenny Dorham and George Morrow (bass). For the second date, in Chicago on January 4,1958 for the Argo label, pianist Ramsey Lewis was added to the quartet. Then, with Lee Morgan, Wynton Kelly, P.C. and Charli Persip, Hank recorded PECKIN' TIME on February 9. In April, he recorded the two MONDAY NIGHT AT BIRDLAND LPs.


Hank played with Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers at Van Gelder's on March 8, 1959, but the material they recorded was not issued. However, they did record most of the same compositions, along with some additional selections, on a live Blue Note date at a New York City club that became ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS AT THE JAZZ CORNER OF THE WORLD, Vol. 1 * and Vol. 2 (recorded April 15,1959).


Between these two sessions, Hank and Blakey joined Donald Byrd and P.C. for Sonny Clark's MY CONCEPTION (March 29,1959). This was Hank's last trip to Rudy Van Gelder's Hackensack recording studio. By the time Hank did his next session (Dizzy Reece's quintet date STAR BRIGHT, with Wynton Kelly, P.C. and AT.), Rudy had relocated to his new state-of-the-art facility in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.


In December, Hank joined Curtis Fuller and Lee Morgan to make CURTIS
FULLER SEXTET: SLIDING EASY for United Artists Records. This was Hank's only recording session with pianist Tommy Flanagan. P.C. was on bass, and the drummer was Elvin Jones, whom Hank previously recorded with on Art Farmer's FARMER'S MARKET.


Throughout the 50s, in addition to recording extensively, Hank was doing many live performances, leading his own ensembles and working under the leadership of other more established artists like Max Roach and Thelonious Monk.


Hank returned to Blue Note for seven more sessions, all recorded in 1960 except for Kenny Dorham's WHISTLE STOP, which was done in early 1961. The first two sessions in I960, led by Donald Byrd, developed into Donald's BYRD IN FLIGHT album. These were Hank's first sessions with pianist Duke Pearson. Doug Watkins was on bass and Lex Humphries on drums. Next came Hank's great quartet date, SOUL STATION (February 7, 1960), with Wynton Kelly, P.C. and Blakey. Hank recorded with McCoy Tyner and Freddie Hubbard for the first time, in 1960, on Freddie Hubbard's GOIN' UP session. This November 6 studio date included P.C. and Philly Joe in the rhythm section. One week later Freddie returned to Van Gelder's to record Hank's ROLL CALL album with Wynton, P.C. and Blakey. On December 11, Hank's last date in 1960, he and Freddie recorded together again, this time for Kenny Drew's UNDERCURRENT date for Blue Note. With Louis Hayes on drums, it was Hank's first recording with bassist Sam Jones.


As mentioned previously, Hank's 1961 recording sessions started with Kenny Dorham's January 15 quintet date for WHISTLE STOP, with Kenny Drew, P.C. and Philly Joe. Then on February 2, Hank did a NYC session for Atlantic Records: three tracks on a two-drummer date with Elvin and Philly Joe for the album TOGETHER. This was his first session with trumpeter Richard "Blue" Mitchell. Curtis Fuller, P.C. and Wynton were also on the date.

1961 also marked the beginning of Hank's association with Miles Davis. In January of that year Miles hired Mobley to succeed John Coltrane in his quintet. The first of the three sessions for Miles' SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME album, On Columbia Records, started on March 7. It was a quintet date with Wynton, P.C. and Jimmy Cobb. March 20th's session added John Coltrane and on March 21, Philly Joe replaced Jimmy Cobb for one selection.


On March 26, Hank recorded his WORKOUT session with Philly Joe and the rest of Miles' rhythm section. This album also featured guitarist Grant Green.


In April, Miles' group (Jimmy Cobb on drums) recorded the LIVE AT THE BLACKHAWK LPs on Friday and Saturday, April 14 and 15, and also on Friday, April 21, in San Francisco. On May 19, back in New York, the quintet produced the live MILES DAVIS AT CARNEGIE HALL session/concert. Also in 1961, on December 5, Hank recorded ANOTHER WORKOUT with Wynton, P.C. and Philly Joe.


Hank's next recordings took place in 1963: 5 sessions for Blue Note. The first was Donald Byrd's A NEW PERSPECTiVE date (January 12). Hank's own session, his first in the recording studio with pianist Herbie Hancock and bassist Butch Warren, took place on March 7, and also included Donald Byrd and Philly Joe. This session is now available, intact, on the Blue Note CD STRAIGHT NO FILTER. Previously, some of the tracks were available on the NO ROOM FOR SQUARES record, while others were available on THE TURNAROUND record. The "record" STRAIGHT NO FILTER contains one cut not found on the other two LPs, but does not complete the original session. The whole session is only available on the STRAIGHT NO FILTER CD.


Hank's third 1963 Blue Note session was Herbie Hancock's MY POINT OF VIEW (March 19). Hank and Donald Byrd were joined in the front line by trombonist Grachan Moncur III for a few tracks. Grant Green was on two tracks, and drummer Tony Williams and bassist Chuck Israels rounded out the rhythm section.


Hank's next quintet session, on October 2, featured Lee Morgan, Andrew Hill (piano), John Ore (bass) and Philly Joe. The music recorded on that day is available for the first time in this country on the Blue Note CD entitled NO ROOM FOR SQUARES. On December 10,1963, Hank played on organist Freddie Roach's Blue Note session.


On February 5, 1965, Hank was joined in the studio for the first time by a drummer he would record with many times, Billy Higgins. This session also featured Freddie Hubbard, pianist Barry Harris and P.C. Blue Note's CD THE TURNAROUND contains all the material from that session. The original "record" THE TURNAROUND contained two cuts from the March 7,1963 session. The entire March 7 session is available on the Blue Note
CD STRAIGHT NO FILTER.


Hank recorded Freddie Hubbard's BLUE SPIRITS session on February 26. This was his first recording with Kiane Zawadi (euphonium), Bob Cranshaw (bass), and Pete LaRoca (drums). The pianist was McCoy. Next was a Grant Green session lor Blue Note (March 31) with Larry Young (organ) and Elvin Jones. On June 18, Hank recorded DIPPIN’ with Lee Morgan, Harold Mabern (piano), Larry Ridley (bass) and Billy Higgins. On September 18, essentially the same group, except with Herbie Hancock on piano and Jackie McLean on alto (3 tracks), recorded Lee Morgan's CORNBREAD session. On December 18, Hank was reunited with Curtis Fuller for Hank's A CADDY FOR DADDY session, which also featured Lee Morgan, McCoy, Bob Cranshaw and Billy Higgins.


Duke Pearson arranged Hank's compositions for Hank's 5 horn session on March 18,1966. Besides Hank, the other members of the group were Lee
Morgan, Kiane Zawadi, James Spaulding (alto), Howard Johnson (tuba), McCoy, Reggie Workman (bass) and Billy Higgins. On March 24 and 25, Hank played on Elvin Jones' MIDNIGHT WALK date for Atlantic Records. This was also Hank's only recording with Thad Jones (trumpet) and Abdullah Ibrahim (piano).


Only 3 selections were recorded during Hank's next session (June 17, 1966). These are the first 3 cuts on the STRAIGHT NO FILTER CD. It was a quintet
session with Lee Morgan, McCoy, Cranshaw and Billy Higgins. One week later, on June 24, Hank played on Donald Byrd's MUSTANG session, with Sonny Red (alto), McCoy, Walter Booker (bass) and Freddie Waits (drums).

Pianist Cedar Walton first recorded with Hank on Lee Morgan's CHARISMA date, September 29, 1966, which also featured Jackie McLean, P.C. and Billy Higgins. Minus Jackie McLean, this whole group recorded again on November 29 for another Lee Morgan session. On January 9, 1967 Hank recorded with Donald Byrd in essentially the same sextet format as Donald's June 24,1966 MUSTANG session, except Cedar was on piano, with Higgins on drums. Hank's THIRD SEASON session was done on February 24, with Lee Morgan, James Spaulding on alto and flute, Cedar, Walter Booker and Billy Higgins. The FAR AWAY LANDS session (May 26,1967), with Donald Byrd, Cedar, and Billy Higgins, was Ron Carter's only recording date with Hank.


Jackie McLean joined Hank for his HI VOLTAGE session on October 9,1967, which also featured Blue Mitchell, John Hicks on piano, Cranshaw and Higgins. A month later, Hank made a live Wynton Kelly quartet recording for Vee Jay records (November 12,1967) with Cecil McBee on bass and drummer Jimmy Cobb.


In 1967, in addition to recording those 5 albums, Hank made his first trip out of the US. Beginning in March, for seven weeks, he performed live at Ronnie Scott's in London, which led to a series of engagements in Europe. In November Hank was back in New York, recording with Wynton Kelly. This music eventually came out on the Vee Jay label. On January 19, 1968, he traveled to Englewood Cliffs to record his REACH OUT album with Woody Shaw, George Benson, Lamont Johnson, Cranshaw and Higgins. In 1968 he played the Chat Qui Peche in Paris. The following year (July 12,1969) he recorded THE FLIP in Paris for Blue Note, with Slide Hampton, Dizzy Reece, pianist Vince Benedetti, French bassist Alby Cullaz and Philly Joe. Hank and Philly Joe also played on two Archie Shepp albums that were recorded on August 12 and 14. The last session included Grachan Moncur III. Mobley continued to tour as a soloist in Munich, Rome, and Eastern Europe before returning to New York in mid-1970.


On July 31,1970 Hank did his last session at Rudy Van Gelder's (THINKING OF HOME), with Woody Shaw, Cedar, guitarist Eddie Diehl, bassist Mickey Bass and drummer Leroy Williams.


During the 70s Hank led a band at Slug's night club and played elsewhere
with Walton and Higgins, often adding baritone saxophonist Charles Davis and trumpeter Bill Hardman. This same band, minus Bill Hardman's trumpet and including Sam Jones on bass, recorded BREAKTHROUGH! for Cobblestone (later released on Muse), under the co-leadership of Mobley and Walton. Shortly after this record date, Hank left New York for a sojourn in Chicago.


In Chicago, Mobley led a quintet which featured drummer Wilbur Campbell, pianist Muhal Richard Abrams and trumpeter Frank Gordon.


After he left Chicago, he spent a year in East Orange, New Jersey before settling in Philadelphia. His activities were restricted by ill health but he performed occasionally during the remaining years of his life. He passed away on May 30, 1986, leaving a legacy of remarkable music. He will be remembered as a soft-spoken saxophonist and composer who let his music do most of the talking and who, in the words of the late great Dexter Gordon, was s-o-o-o-o hip.”

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