Obviously one of the issues that has to be analyzed is Mobley's tenure in Miles Davis' band in 1961. The story goes that Miles did not care for Mobley's playing and felt Hank played behind the beat... It is interesting to wonder if Mobley's failed tenure in Miles' band negatively impacted his career.
Miles' mentions Mobley very briefly in his autobiography and this is the very little he had to say:
"Sonny Stitt left the band sometime around the beginning of 1961. I replaced him with Hank Mobley, and we went into the studio to record Someday My Prince Will Come in March 1961. I brought Coltrane to play on three or four of those tunes and Philly Joe to play on one. But the rest of the band was the same: Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb and Hank Mobley on two or three tunes. Teo Macero, my producer, had started to splice tape together on Porgy and Bess and then on Sketches of Spain, and he did it on this album, too. We post-recorded solos on those albums, with Trane and me doing some extra horn work. It was an interesting process that was done frequently after that."
"That spring of 1961- April I think it was- I decided to drive out to California, for a gig in San Francisco at the Blackhawk. I had been playing at the Village Vanguard when I was in New York, but the music was starting to bore me because I didn't like what Hank Mobley was playing in the band. Gil and I were working a little bit on an album we wanted to do for Columbia. But other than that, everything was slow.
Playing with Hank just wasn't fun for me; he didn't stimulate my imagination. This was about the time I started playing real short solos and then leaving the bandstand."
"But as good as my home life was, the music wasn't going too good for me during this period. Hank Mobley left the band in 1961 and I replaced him for a hot minute with a guy named Rocky Body, but he didn't work out either."
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