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Another tragedy of underrating
masaaki kashima | funabashi, chiba Japan | 02/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everybody seems to underrate this gem of "middle weight champion of tenor sax." This CD generously includes two Mobley LPs--Mobley's Message and Hank Mobley's Second Message (omitting one tune from the latter due to CD's maximum playing time.)Starting from "Bouncing With Bud," you can hear Mobley's great interpretation of bop standards such as "52nd Street Theme," and "Au Privave." Backed by a superb rhythm section consisting of drummer Art Taylor, bassist Doug Watkins, and pianists Barry Harris and Walter Bishop, Mobley blows nice and hard. Trumpeters Donald Byrd and Kenny Dorham brilliantly play a wonderful supporting role.I have bought more than 10 Mobley CD's, and I'm sure this one is by far his best."
Among the best Mobley reissues
B. Sloane | Los Angeles, CA USA | 02/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just when I think there can't be any more beautiful Hank Mobley blowing sessions to reissue, some label with excellent taste (in this case, Prestige Records)puts together another one. This compilation of two superb sessions from the 1950's ranks up there with Mobley's best (The Turnaround, No Room for Squares, Soul Station). Original notes by Ira Gitler call Mobley one of the great under-appreciated sax players, and it's still true -- lousy luck for Hank, who deserved a lot more play and fame than he got; but good for us, because he's not overplayed like Rollins and Coltrane can be. On this CD, listen to the great way Hank has with the gorgeous Rodgers/Hart song "Little Girl Blue": almost nine minutes of exploration of a classic ballad, nothing rushed, the music allowed to breathe and grow. And Hank continues to amaze with his composition skills -- on numbers like "Message From the Border" and "Minor Disturbance" he indulges his fondness for polyrhythms, allowing his sidemen (notably the brilliant Art Taylor on drums) to show their stuff to best advantage. A great CD for all lovers of tenor sax and/or 1950's straight-ahead jazz."