Thursday, September 30, 2004

Yes, that is Hank Mobley on the cover of the book about Francis Wolff's Blue Note photography! Looking good as usual!

Mobley LIVE? in Baltimore?

i have observed that one of the reasons cited for Mobley's failure to become a commercial success is that he was not dedicated enough to touring....i am going to try to get to the bottom of this.. did he tour? when? how much? here some information on Mobley live dates from the 1967 yearbook of the left bank jazz society in baltimore (ah to have been there...)..

from the link i have borrowed the information below:

"The following information comes from the 1967 Left Bank Jazz Society of Baltimore yearbook. Many of these concerts were held at the legendary "Famous Ballroom" located on Charles Street in Baltimore, Maryland. The "Famous" was a charming place (note the painted clouds on the ceiling in the photo previous to this page) and was not unlike an indoor picnic in which folks from all over the city came together every Sunday afternoon from 5pm to 9pm to share in the great sounds. I heard many fabulous concerts at the "Famous" in the late '70s and early '80s including Woody Shaw's group, Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition, Phil Woods, Big Nick Nicholas and many others."

and below the specific dates on which Mobley played (the yearbook apparently covers the period between 8/16/64 to 5/7/67):

11-28-65 HANK MOBLEY, tenor sax; JOHNNY COLES, trumpet; WILBUR LITTLE, bass; BERTELL KNOX, drums; RUBEN BROWN, piano

4-10-66 HANK MOBLEY, tenor sax; McCOY TYNER, piano; JACK DEJOHNETTE, drums; EDDIE MARSHALL, bass (Crystal Ballroom)


3-36-67 JIMMY HEATH, tenor sax; HANK MOBLEY, tenor sax; MICKEY ROKER, drums; CEDER WALTON, piano

Just Missed 1st Annual Trenton Jazz Summit "Remembering Hank Mobley"- look out for 2nd Annual!


full link:

email addresses for contacts at end of article:

THE 1ST ANNUAL TRENTON JAZZ SUMMIT "Remembering Hank Mobley" September 18, 2004 Two shows 6:00 & 8:00pm @ Amber Cafe, Trenton N.J., will be musically nutritious for everyone who attends. The concert is a tribute to the late “Hank Mobley” who considered by many jazz educators and fans all over the world as one of most soulful, lyrical, melodic and prolific composers in the history of modern jazz. Hank recorded extensively with Blue Note records. Sharing the stage with many jazz greats including Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Max Roach, McCoy Tyner, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Barry Harris, Herbie Hancock, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey, John Hicks, Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Kelly and the list goes on.

I’ve listen extensively for many, many, many hours and days to Hank’s music and have written lyrics to over 40 of his compositions. The stories talk about our everyday experiences and of course stories that we can all relate to. Hank possessed that gift that could you make you laugh, cry and dance all night long. We will transform that same spirit at the 1st Annual Trenton Jazz Summit. The cast of musicians on the bill will make everyone happy with memories that will last forever. I recommend to everyone to go to your local jazz store and purchase “Soul Station”. I guarantee you will be hooked on MOBLEY.

BOOTSIE BARNES a master saxophonist from Philadelphia and a close friend of the late Hank Mobley was very excited about the idea. He told me he hung with Hank to the end and would love to honor his musical buddy. Most of you probably remember watching the Cosby cartoon series. While growing up in Philadelphia Bootsie was a childhood friend with Bill Cosby since grade school. They're still close today. Cosby featured his childhood buddy as was one of the original characters in the cartoon. Bootsie Barnes.... can also swing and play that horn! He's Philadephia's diamond gem shinning bright as ever!

DON SICKLER a master musician, producer and arranger will be the featured on trumpet. He was also a close friend of Hank Mobley. He's written arrangements for me on over 25 of Hank Mobley’s classic compositions that I’ve had the honor of writing lyrics to. This will be treat for everyone who attends. Over the years Don has been involved with several Grammy award-winning recordings for Verve records. Most recently he received a Grammy Award for his work on the late Joe Henderson last CD "Lush Life" the music of Billy Strayhorn. Don Sicker is also the musical director for the Thelonious Monk competitions, which features some of today’s brightest stars. He works closely with Thelonouis Monk’s son T.S. Monk. Many musicians who have participated in the Monk competitions have gone on to stardom and have had very prosperous careers. You can hear Don’s arrangements on many major artists recordings. He's appeared on over 150 recordings. Don was also the music director for drummer Philly Joe Jones band “DAMERONIA“. Our pianist will be none other than

SID SIMMONS. A Philadelphia native and has played and recorded with many jazz giants including Grover Washington. KING JAMES will play the contra bass. I’ve been playing with him since my early developmental days in Washington DC during the early 70‘s at the Jazz Club called Pig Foot. We both started in the Jazz Workshop conducted by the late pianist John Malachi. Who happened to have played with gave the name to Sarah “Sassy” Sarah Vaughn back during the early 50‘s. James is a great bassist and you’ll love him.

RONNIE BURRAGE will be the drummer for the evening. I first met Ronnie when I was singing with James Moody “Moody’s Moody For Love” during the early 80’s. One particular week we were appearing at the Village Vanguard in NYC and McCoy Tyner’s group was playing at Sweet Basil one block away. Everyone was running back and forth between sets to see this young dynamic drummer that was setting the club on fire. It was Ronnie Burrage. I’ve been writing lyrics to Hank Mobley’s music for the past few years and recorded one of his most notable compositions “This I Dig of You” aka “Jazzinn Around” on my recent CD Live@JazzInn. During the process I found out that Don Sickler publishes Hank’s music and several 100 other artist at Second Floor Music and he has given me permission to help myself with Hank’s compositions. To this day I’ve written lyrics to over 40 of his songs and have also recently finished writing a new JAZZICAL “Down By The River-East of the Village”. It’s an urban story of love, sadness, death, happiness and triumph with a script written around over 20 of Hank Mobley’s compositions. It will go into production after Don finishes producing my newest CD offering at none other than Rudy Van Gelder’s. Stay tune. Please show your support and attend the 1st Annual Trenton Jazz Summit. “Remembering Hank Mobley”. It will be a historic event and a concert you will not want to miss. Remember 2 shows and only 100 seats per show. Everyone is invited.The Hippest New Spot in the City of TrentonA Brand New EstablishmentAMBER CAFE, 905 Brunswick Ave @ Olden Ave, Trenton NJ, or georgevjohnsonjr@hotmail.comCharge tickets by phone or

Horace Silver chimes in on Hank Mobley

from an interview published December 18, 2003 at all about jazz:

Fred Jung: The Horace Silver Quintet has quite an impressive alumni roll. Your thoughts on Hank Mobley, who appears on Six Pieces of Silver and The Stylings of Silver.

Horace Silver: Oh, a great musician, very underrated. He's one of the great jazz saxophonists of our time, I think, in my opinion, very creative and very inventive, always full of ideas, a lot of feeling when he plays. He is one of my favorite tenor saxophone players, Hank Mobley.

Coltrane's Downbeat Blindfold Test 1959- MOBLEY mention

This is FASCINATING reading besides the mention of Mobley which is interesting in it of itself. As is generaly known Coltrane was the king of tenor sax- the heavyweight champion- and Mobley was completely overshadowed by Coltrane and his style...on "caddy for daddy" Mobley was trying to go in Coltrane's direction down to even having Coltrane quartet pianist mcoy tyner on the session (the first song sounds a bit like love supreme to me)

taken from:

Blindfold Test: John ColtraneAn Exclusive Online Extraby Leonard Feather — 02/19/1959

The Blindfold Test below is the first interview of its kind with John Coltrane. The reason is simple: though he has been a respected name among fellow musicians for a number of years, it is only in the last year or two that he has reached a substantial segment of the jazz-following audience.

It is the general feeling that Coltrane ranks second only to Sonny Rollins as a new and constructive influence on his instrument. Coltrane’s solo work is an example of that not uncommon phenomenon, an instrumental style that reflects a personality stikingly different from that of the man who plays it; for his slow, deliberate speaking voice and far-from-intense manner never would lead on to expect from him the cascades of phrases that constitute a typical Coltrane solo.

The records for his Blindfold Test were more or less paired off, the first a stereo item by a big band, the next two combo tracks by hard bop groups, the third pair bearing a reminder of two early tenor giants, and the final two sides products of miscellaneous combos. John was given no information before or during the test about the records played.

The Records
1. Woody Herman. "Crazy Rhythm" (Everest Stereo). Paul Quinichette, tenor saxophone; Ralph Burns, arranger.

Well, I would give it three stars on the merit of the arrangement, which I thought was good. The solos were good, and the band played good. As to who it was, I don’t know…The tenor sounded like Paul Quinichette, and I liked that because I like the melodic way he plays. The sound of the recording was very good. I’d like to make a guess about that arrangement—it sounded like the kind of writing Hefti does—maybe it was Basie’s band.

2. Art Farmer Quintet. "Mox Nix" (United Artists). Benny Golson, tenor; Farmer, trumpet, composer, arranger; Bill Evans, piano; Addison Farmer, bass; Dave Bailey, drums.
That’s a pretty lively sound. That tenor man could have been Benny Golson, and the trumpeter, I don’t know…It sounded like Art Farmer a little bit.
I enjoyed the rhythm section—they got a nice feeling, but I don’t know who they were. The composition was a minor blues—which is always good. The figures on it were pretty good, too. I would give it three-and-a-half.

3. Horace Silver Quintet. "Soulville" (Blue Note). Silver, piano, composer; Hank Mobley, tenor; Art Farmer, trumpet.

Horace…Is that "Soulville?" I;ve heard that—I think I have the record. Horace gave me that piece of music some time ago…I asked him to give me some things that I might like to record and that was one of them. I’ve never got around to recording it yet, though. I like the piece tremendously—the composition is great. It has more in it than just "play the figure and then we all blow." It has a lot of imgination. The solos are all good…I think it’s Hank Mobley and Art Farmer. I’ll give that four-and-a-half stars.

4. Coleman Hawkins. "Chant" (Riverside). Idrees Sulieman, trumpet; J.J. Johnson, trombone; Hank Jones, piano; Oscar Pettiford, bass.

Well, the record had a genuine jazz feeling. It sounded like Coleman Hawkins…I think it was Clark Terry on trumpet, but I don’t know. The ‘bone was good, but I don’t know who it was. I think the piano was very good…I’ll venture one guess: Hank Jones. It sounded like Oscar Pettiford and was a very good bass solo. And Bean—he’s one of the kind of guys—he played well, but I wanted to hear some more from him…I was expecting some more.

When I first started listening to jazz, I heard Lester Young before I heard Bean. When I did hear Hawkins, I appreciated him, but I didn’t hear him as much as I did Lester…Maybe it was because all we were getting then was the Basie band.

I went through Lester Young and on to Charlie Parker, but after that I started listening to others—I listened to Bean and realized what a great influence he was on the people I’d been listening to. Three and a half.

5. Ben Webster–Art Tatum. "Have You Met Miss Jones?" (Verve).

That must be Ben Webster, and the piano, I don’t know. I thought it was Art Tatum…I don’t know anybody else who plays like that, but still I was waiting for that thunderous thing from him, and it didn’t come. Maybe he just didn’t feel like it then

The sound of that tenor…I wish he’d show me how to make a sound like a that. I’ve got to call him up and talk to him! I’ll give that four stars…I like the atmosphere of the record—the whole thing I got from it. What they do for the song is artistic, and it’s a good tune.

6. Toshiko Akiyoshi. "Broadway" (Metrojazz). Bobby Jaspar, tenor; Rene Thomas, guitar.

You’ve got me guessing all the way down on this one, but it’s a good swinging side and lively. I thought at first the tenor was Zoot, and then I thought, no. If it isn’t Zoot, I don’t know who it could be. All the solos were good…The guitar player was pretty good. I’d give the record three stars on it liveliness and for the solos.

7. Chet Baker. "Fair Weather" (Riverside). Johnny Griffin, tenor; Benny Golson, composer.

That was Johnny Griffin, and I didn’t recognize anybody else. The writing sounded something like Benny Golson…I like the figure and that melody. The solos were good, but I don’t know…Sometimes it’s hard to interpret changes. I don’t know whether it was taken from another song or if it was a song itself.

Maybe the guys could have worked it over a little longer and interpreted it a little truer. What I heard on the line as it was written, I didn’t hear after the solos started…It was good, though—I would give it three stars, on the strength of the composer mostly, and the solos secondly…I didn’t recognize the trumpeter.

Mobley sales booming on ebay!

Below and taken from we have a list of recent Mobley sales on Ebay. Clearly, and unfortunately for my chances to land a copies of "Soul Station", "Roll Call", and "Workout", the guy is h-o-t.

Blue Note 1544 VG+/VG+ $238 West 63rd

Caddy for Daddy

Blue Note 4230 M-/M- $171 NY USA

Blue Note 1544 VG/VG $94 West 63rd
Blue Note 1544 M-/M- $233 West 63rd

Blue Note 84209 M-/M- $91 NY USA Stereo
Blue Note 4209 M-/M- $97 NY USA

Blue Note 1560 M-/M- $455 West 63rd
Blue Note 1560 VG+/VG+ $273 West 63rd
Blue Note 1560 VG+/VG++ $374 West 63rd
Blue Note 1560 VG++/VG+ $405 West 63rd

Blue Note 1568 M-/VG $1,300 West 63rd

Blue Note 1540 VG+/VG+ $535 Lex Ave

Prestige 7061 M-/VG+ $293 NY Yellow
Prestige 7082 M-/M- $661 NY Yellow
Prestige 7082 VG/VG+ $229 NY Yellow
Prestige 7082 VG-/VG $109 NY Yellow

No room for squares
Blue Note 84149 M-/M- $89 NY USA Stereo
Blue Note 4149 M-/VG++ $158 NY USA

Blue Note 1574 M-/M- $910 West 63rd
Blue Note 1574 VG/VG+ $144 West 63rd

Roll Call
Blue Note 4058 M-/M- $250 Stereo
Blue Note 4058 VG/VG $181 West 63rd
Blue Note 4058 VG++/VG++$184 West 63rd
Blue Note 4058 VG++/VG++$204 West 63rd
Blue Note 1540 M-/VG++ $1,136 Lex Ave

Soul Station
Blue Note 4031 M-/M- $1,137 West 63rd
Blue Note 4031 M-/M- $889 West 63rd
Blue Note 4031 M-/VG $405 West 63rd
Blue Note 4031 VG+/VG+ $213 West 63rd
Blue Note 4031 M-/M- $620 West 63rd

Prestige 7074 VG+/VG $114 NY Yellow

Blue Note 84186 M-/M- $97 NY USA Stereo
Blue Note 84186 VG+/VG++ $45 NY USA Stereo
Blue Note 4186 VG++/VG++ $125 NY USA

Blue Note 4080 VG++/VG++ $293 West 63rd
Blue Note 4080 VG+/VG+ $136 NY USA
Blue Note 84080 VG/VG+ $46 NY USA Stereo
Blue Note 4080 VG++/VG++ $165 NY USA
Blue Note 84080 M-/VG++ $104 NY USA Stereo
Blue Note 4080 VG++/VG++ $142 NY USA

Now this copy (a current reissue) was purchased on ebay by a buyer in the US for US$ 6.25 including shipping. Its going to have to do until i win the lottery!

This Blue Note 1568 just sold to a buyer from Japan (don't they all!) on ebay for US$ 2605.55! It was advertised as being in VG++/M- (record/cover) condition.

Hank Mobley on the web....

is almost as neglected as he was while he was alive... here are the links i was able to find, i recommend starting at the allmusic guide...

Hank Mobley's masterpiece "Soul Station"

Wednesday, September 29, 2004