In his musical life, there always seemed to be two Hank Mobleys. He spent most of his career as a sideman, uplifting the music of Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Miles Davis, Slide Hampton and Cedar Walton. But on records, his most significant work was as a leader for Blue Note. Mobley's round tone, flexibility and ability to write catchy melodies made him a popular figure for 15 years.
On Quintet, he is at the head of a group featuring musicians from both the Blakey and Silver bands including the two leaders. Mobley, who contributed all six compositions, is very much in control, performing the thoughtful and melodic yet stirring brand of hard bop that he most loved. Funk In Deep Freeze is the most famous of the songs but all are well worth reviving and enjoying.
Mobley and Art Farmer work off each other in subtle yet fiery fashion (they often seemed to think alike) and the Silver-Blakey reunion is a joyous occasion. Overall, the Hank Mobley Quintet sounds so tight and telepathic that it is almost like they played together four sets a night at Birdland rather than actually being a superb one-time get-together.
|Brand||Blue Note Records|
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