Friday, November 07, 2008

Hank Mobley - A Slice of the Top

From All Music Guide:
"This is one of tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley's more intriguing sessions, for the talented composer had an opportunity to have four of his originals, plus the standard "There's a Lull in My Life," performed by an octet in the cool-toned style of Miles Davis's "Birth of the Cool" nonet, arranged by Duke Pearson. Although recorded in 1966, this date was not released until 1979 (and reissued on CD in 1995). Mobley, who continued to evolve into a more advanced player throughout the 1960s, fits right in with such adventurous players as altoist James Spaulding, trumpeter Lee Morgan (with whom Mobley recorded frequently), pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Billy Higgins. The inclusion of Kiane Zawadi on euphonium and Howard Johnson on tuba adds a lot of color to this memorable outing."
Here's a little more colour on the disc from a customer review at Amazon:
"The four Mobley originals on this recording were written while Mobley was in prison during the mid sixties. Duke Pearson arranged the songs at Mobley's request and they were recorded upon Mobley's release. Inspired by Miles Davis' "Birth of the Cool" band but swinging much harder this modal/hardbop date kicks off with the tuba and euphonium playing the lead-in to "Hank's Other Bag" - Duke Pearson's mastery of arrangment is established within the first few measures of the song. Mobley is in fine form, as are the other all-stars - good songs, good performances, well worth finding."
There is some swingin' tuba on this record...crazy.

A Slice of the Top by Hank Mobley from A Slice of the Top