Mobley grew up in Elizabeth, NJ, and it was there that he learned to play the piano as a boy. When he was 16, he switched to the saxophone and shortly thereafter began playing professionally.
When he was in his late teens, on a recommendation from Clifford Brown (who knew Mobley only by reputation), Paul Glayten hired Mobley in 1949 for his R&B band. The band at that time included Cecil Payne, Aaron Bell, Sam Woodyard, and JFASN #54 subject, Clark Terry.
|Another Workout, Blue Note 1961|
The personnel for this one were:
The version of this CD that I have includes five songs. Three of them are Mobley originals, including the opener, “Out Of Joe’s Bag”. This one bops hard from the first note. The guys really hit this one hard and just keep hitting it.
“Out Of Joe’s Bag” could possibly have been the quintessential hard bop song of all time if the jazz cognoscenti of the age had had the ears to hear and the wit to appreciate Mobley’s talent.
Track two is a beautiful ballad entitled “I Should Care”, a standard penned in 1944 by the songwriting trio Sammy Cahn, Axel Stordahl and Paul Weston. This song has been performed over the years by a wide variety of artists, including Bing Crosby, Barry Manilow, Thelonious Monk, Abbey Lincoln, and The Four Freshmen. It would be hard for me to envision that any of those versions were more beautiful than the one Mobley and company give us here.
“Hank’s Other Soul”, the final of Mobley’s compositions on this album, opens quietly. Only Philly Joe Jones on the drums and percussion adds a hint of hot passion to what is otherwise a wonderful piece of quiet but warm bop. The pace gradually picks up. At 8:45, this is the longest song on the album and I predict you will find that when it ends you will find yourself wanting more.
Here is another 1960 Mobley classic, “My Groove Your Move” from his album “Roll Call”. This one includes Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Art Blakey on drums, Wynton Kelly on piano and Paul Chambers on bass.
The final track is the classic “Hello Young Lovers”, written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers for the Broadway musical, “The King And I.” It provides this album with and ending that is both familiar and at the same time not entirely predictable.
I really enjoy listening to Hank Mobley’s “Another Workout”, and I am certain that you will find it a wonderful addition to your personal playlist for a Saturday, or any other, night!
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Copyright © 2013 by Al Evans. All rights reserved.