- Album Description
PLUS TWO BONUS TRACKS! This is an ancient Blue Note rarity recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s legendary studio in 1956 with legendary bass man Paul Chambers doing the deep notes. First press originals in adequate condition go for about 500 Euros. So what does this sextet featuring trumpeters Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan with tenor saxophone hero Hank Mobley as bandleader and piano madcap Horace Silver backing the rhythm section with his extraordinary chord progressions have to offer? The album is widely labeled as “hard bop” and it shows a great development from the mid to late 1940s bebop scene where John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and other now mystical protagonists brought the swinging dance music of the even older big bands to a new level of sophistication and still maintained an earthy and highly spirited atmosphere. Same goes for the hard bop and post bop scene of the later half of the 1950s from which finally modal jazz and free jazz emerged within the wink of an eye. All four lengthy compositions on this album are still one step behind the next level and show a playfully jamming band executing comprehensible harmony lines backed by tricky yet enthralling grooves that in the end move straight forward despite the rhythm section playing mostly around the pulse. The duels of both trumpets and the tenor sax heat up one’s soul as they are aligned with the racy rhythm patterns. The melodies themselves are quite cheerful and cool. When Paul Chambers takes the bow in one passage of the fourth tune “Mobleymania” and scratches some cool lines backed up with an everflowing drum pulse nobody may sit still. All six musicians here are fairly well connected with each other in terms of playing tightly to what the next improvises. Especially Mobley burns with every note he plays and if you bushwhack through to the core that carries the steaming dialogues between trumpets and saxophone you will find some maniacs building rhythmical patterns par excellence. This album certainly demands many spins before you will be aware of every beautiful detail. Indeed a classic of 1950s jazz aside from the greasy mainstream sound. Let’s go wild with Hank Mobley, Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan.