Analogue Productions (Prestige)
For sale individually and as part of Analogue Productions’ Prestige Mono Series
Cut from the analogue masters by renowned mastering engineer Kevin Gray
180-gram pressing by Quality Record Pressings
Deluxe high-gloss tip-on album jacket
"...hard-bop devotees shouldn't overlook Mobley's Message, especially when they can savor this superb vinyl reissue." Sonics = 5/5; Music = 3.5/5 — Duck Baker, The Absolute Sound, October 2013
Critic Leonard Feather asserted that Hank Mobley was “the middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone,” meaning that his tone wasn’t as aggressive and thick as John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins, but neither was it as soft and cool as Stan Getz or Lester Young. Mobley helped inaugurate the hard bop movement: Jazz that balanced sophistication and soulfulness, complexity and earthy swing, and whose loose structure allowed for extended improvisations.
Born in Eastman, Georgia, in 1930, but raised in New Jersey, Hank’s long-lined tenor offerings became a staple for pianist Horace Silver’s group, which evolved into the ‘50s super quintet co-led by Art Blakley, dubbed the Jazz Messengers. Their groundbreaking first album for Blue Note, 1955’s Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers, was a hard bop landmark, featuring sophisticated solos and bright, almost funky rhythms. Mobley hit his peak in the first half of the 1960s with hard bop cornerstones like Soul Station, No Room for Squares, and A Caddy for Daddy.
On this Prestige offering, Mobley delivers his signature swinging style in three different variations. Four numbers are by the quintet in which Hank is helped by telegrapher Donald Byrd and his “sending” trumpet. They disseminate the information of two pronouncements from bop’s palmy days, Bud Powell’s “Bouncin’ With Bud” and Thelonious Monk’s “52nd Street Theme,” plus two more numbers, Hank’s “Minor Disturbance” and the group’s “Alternating Current.”