The Complete Blue Note Hank Mobley Fifties Sessions (#181)

Mosaic Records Limited Edition Box Set


The Complete Blue Note Hank Mobley Fifties Sessions (#181)
"His 1950s sessions for Blue Note have long been sought after and all of us at Mosaic are very proud to finally make this music available again." - Charlie Lourie, Mosaic Records
Limited Edition: 7500 copies

6 CDs -  $96.00


Brilliant Solos Fueled By Hard Bop Rhythm

As one of the founding members of the original Jazz Messengers, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley was part of a brilliant innovation. Bebop's second generation of players had pulled the music into a tailspin of virtuosity. But there was a new inspirational sound taking hold, with roots in gospel and blues. By combining the best of bebop with the soulful new thing springing up, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley and Doug Watkins fashioned a sound with a percussive, street feel inspired by the hot steam grates and pavement they walked, the propulsive drive of the lives they were leading.

The world came to know it as hard bop. It was the sound of its day, and it codified what came to be called the "Blue Note sound"

Hank Mobley became a key player in the Blue Note orbit at a point when his particular skills and the emerging format for studio jazz recording were in a most complimentary zone. The sidemen reads like a "Who's Who of Hard Bop". The musicians who participated in one or more of Hank's nine `50s sessions include Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Kenny Dorham, Art Farmer, Sonny Clark, Horace Silver, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones and Art Blakey,

This yielded music that has been doggedly sought out by many jazz fans and has eluded too many more through limited availability. Of the 9 albums collected on this 6 CD Limited Edition set, two were never released and four others were never reissued domestically.

Read More About HankMobley:
Track Listing, Personnel & Recording Dates »

“This beautifully recorded set by Rudy Van Gelder makes an overwhelming case for Mobley's insertion into an immortal triumvirate with Trane and Rollins. Not as declamatory as the other two, he nevertheless matches them for inspired improvisation. Additionally his splendid compositions that abound in this set reflect the subtlety of his playing…The string of pianists here is unbelievable and even if there were not so many fine delights from Mobley, the box would be worth buying for Silver, Clark, Timmons and Kelly, all at or near to their best. Which is to say nothing of Farmer, Morgan, Byrd and Hardman…Mosaic specializes in hitting the listener with overwhelming collections of good music. This must be one of their best yet.“ - Steve Voce, Jazz Journal International

  • Booklet
  • Audio Quality
  • Photography
  • Sample Session Notes
Author/journalist Bob Blumenthal, whose area of expertise is hard bop, traces Mobley’s professional life through the end of this classic decade and offers in-depth analysis of and insight into the nine sessions included in this set, capturing the essence of Mobley’s soulful, graceful tenor work. A detailed discography of these Blue Note sessions by Michael Cuscuna is included.

In the age of microsizing, every Mosaic Records Box Set booklet is still 11 x 11 inches to allow our customers to appreciate all the extras we put into printing them (and for easier reading).


The set was mastered in 20-bit by Ron McMaster at Capitol Mastering using Rudy Van Gelder’s beautiful-sounding original masters.

Photo Copyright © Protected
Thirty-three beautiful photographs, many never before published, from the actual sessions taken by Blue Note co-founder and master photograph Francis Wolff grace the booklet.

(c) January 13, 1957

This is one of the high points in the Mobley discography. It reunites the saxophonist and the original Jazz Messengers rhythm section, and uses Milt Jackson in the front line instead of a second horn. Jackson's participation may have resulted from a reciprocal arrangement with Atlantic, as Silver had just recorded Jackson's great Plenty, Plenty Soul sessions. The vibes wizard is not using his own instrument here, yet hardly seems inhibited by the borrowed set. Mobley provides a blue-ribbon program, and the quintet responds with one of the definitive albums of the era. Reunion, the first piece tackled, sets an extremely happy mood. The piece is built on a descending chord cycle, sort of a short-form Lover, and there is a striking modulation in the melody at bar 20 (midway through the bridge). Mobley begins and takes the leader's share of choruses, settling hand-in-glove into the velvet groove of the rhythm section and peeling through the changes. Jackson enters his solo singing, and overcomes the tonal deficiencies of the unfamiliar vibes set with his familiar impassioned engagement. Silver rolls through the piano solo on Blakey's high-hat, and Mobley provides a written shout chorus for the first of Blakey's two choruses. Beyond the quality of the individual solos, the brilliant difference Art Blakey's presence makes is immediately felt in this performance.

There may be no better example of the harmonic inventiveness that Silver found in Mobley's writing than Ultramarine. Another of the saxophonist's inspired eight-bar introductions is followed by a smoky minor melody made even more haunting through the use of pedal point. The tempo and extended length of the performance encourage relaxed blowing that is commenced by Jackson, who bends himself to the fertile changes with the concentration displayed on his 1955 Prestige quartet date with Silver and contemporaneous sessions with Miles Davis. Silver is in his lyrical bag, less percussive than usual, and his choruses provide a great opportunity to focus on Watkins' self-effacing yet essential contribution. Mobley delivers the main event in a marvel of balance and irresistible pulse. The subtlety and ease of his ideas allow him to hit several peaks without shouting. Litweiler has referred to the tenor playing on Ultramarine as immensely sophisticated and stunning, and it probably captures exactly what Dexter Gordon had in mind when he described Mobley as "s-o-o-o-o-o hip." Vibes and tenor sax trade fours together before Blakey joins in for a collegial closing.

Don't Walk, which is actually a signal to move at a comfortably brisk pace, quickly upsets expectations in the theme chorus with stop-time breaks (or should we say brakes?) after Blakey's opening foray. The tune is another classic, stated this time by tenor and rhythm section without vibes. Mobley takes advantage of the elemental Blakey groove and quickly reaches full stride, coming up with new ways to cast his favorite ideas. Jackson dances through in his solo as well. Hard driving of this stripe was not really so alien to Jackson in the Modern Jazz Quartet, where he also enjoyed active piano comping from John Lewis and a then supremely swinging Percy Heath/Connie Kay rhythm cushion, yet he seems to crank it up an extra notch here - particularly when Blakey's rim shots carry him surging into the final vibes chorus. Silver sustains the level of invention with his patented brand of riffing and quoting before Mobley, Blakey and Jackson kick it around with four-bar exchanges. The entire band sounds like it is having what Blakey often referred to as a ball.

Blue Seven and other medium-slow blues of the time that featured Doug Watkins got off the ground with a couple of his walking choruses. In contrast, Mobley sets up Lower Stratosphere with the bassist playing pedal point for an eight-bar melody repeated twice, once by tenor with vibes commentary and then the other way around. It is obvious from Mobley's responses during the second half of the theme that he means business, a sentiment shared by all when the solos begin over a standard 12-bar blues chorus. Silver, to the funky manner born, carries on an internal dialogue in spots. Mobley grabs ideas from the piano support and tosses them back, double-times faultlessly, and gets effectively nasty in a couple of places, making the entire brilliant statement sound easy. Watkins steps forward briefly before Jackson demonstrates why he is one of jazz's all-time blues interpreters (and thus all-time giants). Silver's stretch of straight quarter-notes at the start of the second vibes chorus foreshadows the trademark Jackson repetitions that follow. And this is Jackson on a studio set of vibes!

Mobley's Musings completes as perfect a program of original music as Mobley ever assembled. In the original liner notes Feather cites the ballad as an effective example of how to employ the flatted fifth melodically, and the resulting atmosphere is starkly tender. Great sensitivity is applied by all three soloists, with Silver and Jackson blowing for 24 bars each in the three-chorus exposition. Mobley takes the entire first chorus, the last 16 bars of chorus three and the coda, and justifies the extra space in this exalted company. His ravishing coda can stand against the vulnerable beauty of Stan Getz as well as the best of his fellow hard-boppers. The only thing this classic album lacks is alternate takes.

Now Mobley was back in stride with Blue Note's recording schedule. February found him taping two sessions for the label in as many days. One was a Kenny Burrell quintet (with Silver, Watkins and Louis Hayes) and produced two tracks issued on a 45 (the rest of the session surfaced decades later in Japan). The second was Jimmy Smith's first album with horns (Byrd is also present), and Mobley's first with a Hammond B-3 organ. He contributed Groovy Date, which is basically a fanfare that sets up blowing on Rhythm changes.


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  If you still dont have this, get it while you can!
Hank Mobley surely was one of the most underrated musicians in his time. This collection features music that preceded what many critics consider his best years, but to me this set has one great performance after another from many of Blue Notes finest stablemates. This box has been around a long time, but it appears it wont be here much longer. Dont lose out!
  Disc after disc
One fine band after another. Check out the discography - incredible line-up of trumpet and piano players. Art Farmer, Lee Morgan, Kenny Dorham, and then on piano Horace Silver, Sonny Clark, Bobby Timmons, etc. Certainly one of the most consistent Mosaic sets I own, disc after disc of great bands and performances.
  Shame On Me For The Delay
This set has been around for just about ever yet I secured mine only recently. Ironically, of the dozen or so Mosaic sets I own it is quickly shaping up to be one of my two favorites, the incomparable Herbie Nichols being the other. Soul Station is generally regarded as Mobleys finest work but this material from the 50s strikes me as prime stuff with a wonderful sense of melody. Im frankly bowled over by the consistent level of quality on display here, from all involved. The audio quality, too, is really most impressive -- might be the best sounding Mosaic set I own. There are less than 500 copies of this box remaining, so if 50s Blue Note records are your thing and you havent done so already, act now. Some have focused on who Mobley was not; this box offers compelling testament to who he was.
  Nice Difference in Tone from BN 60s Sessions
I have the '58 "Hank Mobley" BLP-1568 (on a superlative 2X 45rpm LP set) and it really is beautiful music and provides as nice change from his later work. Very classy 50s smoky-club feel that most jazz fans will appreciate. Mingus alumnus, Curtis Porter was a nice find for me here. This Mosaic box came out fifteen years ago?! Wow, that it has lasted that long is almost as amazing as the perfect Columbia JJ Johnson box lasting ten.
Received this box set today and just finished listening to the 1st 6 tracks that make up "The Hank Mobley Quartet" plus the 2 alt. WOW! I like. Thanks to all the reviews below, I decided to give this a try (wasn't to familiar with his music). I will be another person to continually listen to this time and again over the years. Also, did I read in these reviews this isn't as good as his sixties output? Really? Have I got a lot of music to look forward to.
  Still here?!?
I can't understand why this set is still available.After years of owning this set, I can come back to it and not get tired of it. It is the epitome of hard bop before it became its' own cliche. Hank was one of the very greatest of tenormen- buy this and revel in his soulful inventive subtlety as well as the great tunes and contributions of his top flight collaborators.
  Just amazing!
This was the first Mosaic box I've bought and It's hard to find words to explain the beauty of it all. First, I have more than a thousand cds/vinyl in my collection, but this one is, by a long margin, the best of them all. From the moment I took it out of the box I got shocked by the amount of care and love given to Mobley's work. And what you'll get here is 9 complete albums, with alternate takes. Except for three or four albums still-in-print, the remaining are almost impossible to find - you will pay about the price of this set for just one of the rare Mobleys! Just buy it, you won't regret.
  Why did I wait so LONG to get this!
I finally got around to ordering this set and it's GREAT. Hank Mobley is a wonderful tenor man; swinging, fat sound, original lines and a great writer. Do not let this slip through your hands when it goes to "Running Low" or "Last Chance." Also, the booklet is very nicely written and the photographs are beautiful. THIS IS A GREAT MOSAIC SET!
  Don't allow yourself to be misled by Miles Davis's comments... I initially did. Hank Mobley was a very special tenor player in his own right. If one listens to his body of work--both as a leader and sideman--from the mid 1950s through the mid 1960s, it is clear that he belongs with Rollins and Coltrane in the very top tier of tenors of that time. All three are unique, and yet equally rewarding to my ears. This Mosaic set covers the 9 albums Mobley recorded as leader for Blue Note from 1955 through 1958, and all 9 are wonderful. There are 4 quintet sessions (3 with trumpet [Farmer, Dorham & Morgan], and 1 with Milt Jackson on vibes), 4 sextet sessions, and 1 quartet session. Three of the earlier sessions feature the Jazz Messengers rhythm section of Silver, Watkins and Blakey. Three later sessions would find Sonny Clark in the piano chair, while the last session would feature Wynton Kelly, who would later play on all four of Mobley's classic 1960-61 albums ("Soul Station," "Roll Call," "Workout," and "Another Workout"). There are a total of 47 different tunes (56 counting alternate takes), and perhaps most surprising to me was that over 70% of them were written by Hank. I find this collection to be as enjoyable as the many wonderful records Mobley recorded as a sideman during this time period: If you enjoy "Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers," "At The Cafe Bohemia," or "The Jazz Messengers" (the 1956 Columbia session on which Hank wrote 7 of the tunes), then you will enjoy this collection. Likewise, if you enjoy Hank's work on Kenny Dorham's "Afro-Cuban," or on Horace Silver's "Silver's Blue," or "6 Pieces of Silver," you will enjoy this collection. Lastly, as of May 2010 when I finally ordered my copy, almost 12 years after this set was released, there were still 70+ left--a testament to how underrated Hank in general and his '50s work in particular remain. Thank you Mosaic and best regards, Fred Ferrara
  One of the truly great Mosaics
This is a great classic Mosaic collection. The nine Mobley LPs collected here contain numerous great tunes and great solos, some of the most beautiful and subtle of 'hard bop', even where the musicians are just learning their trade. To me these amazing titles outshine many Blue Notes and other titles of the period which are more celebrated. This set is like the biggest open secret of hard bop. Some of these titles can be found in more recent masterings, and all of them exist in hard-to-find Japanese versions, but even though you might prefer the sound of RVGs or of the Toshiba TOCJ 1500 series, I advise you not to play the waiting game and jump for this set. This set has been around for some years on the Mosaic site. It won't be here forever. Now's the time to snap one up. Ten years from now it will still be delighting you.
  Classic Tenor
I've had this set for quite a while now and it keeps getting better with each listen. Mobley is truly one of the underrated giants of the tenor sax (and a composer of considerable talent as well). It is regrettable he never got the recognition he deserved while alive. There's much pleasure to be had in this set.
  Hank Mobley in Great All-Star Sessions!
For quite a few years, I have desired this album, but always delayed when some new Mosaic release dropped it to second choice. Now I wish I had purchased it earlier. This is great hard bop which is "accessible" to the average listener with basic experience. What makes this album great is that Hank Mobley, excellent as always, is surrounded by many of the best musicians of that era. A good number of them led albums of their own on Blue Note. (Such was roster of the label that major stars were sidemen on many of the albums.) Thus, each session has its own distinct flavor. Personally, I liked the last session, which includes Lee Morgan and Wynton Kelly, best, but all are superb. The notes are the usual outstanding Mosaic production and the sound is very good. This album is highly recommended while it is still available. Don Seitas; Mill Valley, CA
  Classic Blue Note Jazz
If you like classic Blue Note style jazz, this set is for you.
  I take it back
I fully retract my previous 2-star rating from last summer. The next reviewer was right: if anybody was being prepubescent, it was me with my lack of jazz exposure, certainly not Mobley. I still love the Dexter Gordon set, but have realized, by way of discovery through Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Horace Silver, Sonny Clark, et al, that this set is one for the ages. You can't go wrong. Again I apologize for that dreadful review and have become that die hard Hank Mobley fan I was talking about.
  I am kicking myself !!!!
Had the LP set and sold it for what I though was (in 2002) an insane $450 dollars expecting to find another preferring them to CD's.Some material by Bassie or Ellingon as great as they are work fine as Cd's but the Blue Note solid sessions (not all-love Duke Pearson but new select is one I'll pass on).While I slightly agree with reviewer who said that he wished he hadn't bought it about it's lack or maturity that can be said about most great artists unless maybe your Louis Armstrong where the muisc is revolutionary from th start-the Mobley groove didn't in fact peak in the 60's and was with Morgan and McLean the "House" sound of BN.I am glad to see that Classic Records is slowly getting those excellent 200gm pressings out so theirs hope that I can still pick up what I sold.It is strange that the Lp's sold super quick and the CD's languish but then again unlike the Commodore where much wasn't availible or the many like Goodman,Armstrong, et al the material was there on CD,the assembly and notes therof was unique. I understand why Michael and Charlies pricing/marketing means that he had to drop the LP set's (except for say Miles where licensing prevented and CD's it is a shame that say the Lou Donaldson didn't come out on LP which I think deserved wax pressings.But Michael isn't charging $30+ per disc in these sets.I wish I had never old my set but may pick up the CD box when it runs low.One just hopes Coltrane fans don't just buy "Giant Steps" and "A Love Supreme" and the same applies to the developing Mobley sessions that not only hins at the perfectioon to come but stands alone by itself.And lets hope that if a second box is put out or muisc the Quality of Donaldson's box comes out some special LP sets are made because nothing beats te completenes and fantastic liner notes in all of Mosaic sets.The cranky reviewer might have been right if the sory stopped with the 50's sest's but given what came latter the way pulling out some gems from Coltrane's pre-BlueNote/Atlantic middle period such as his LP "Lush Life".This fellow can sell the box on ebay but I'd keep it and give it another chance. Chazzbo P.S. If he does want to sell and they are LP's get in touch with me!!!!!
  Are You Serious
If you miss this one you'll kick yourself. Hank is outstanding as they say " straight ahead jazz". Like many other sets that have gone by not be reissued . If miss you it as the say " you snooze you lose" Just get it. Not to mention the other players who are outstanding on this box set. I for one have never been disppointed yet with Mosaic..thanks again.
  First time great experience
I finally made my first purchase with Mosaic Records on Dec 1. What a great way to start off. Beautiful Packaging, Equally Beautiful Photos, and above all, Great Quality Sound.Hank Mobley is awsome,along with all of his sidemen. A must have for the serious Hard Boppers out there. Great, Great Music!!!
  Just Get It part 2
I just received this set last week and I have to say it is a great collection of hard bop. I've got most of the 60's Mobley too, and though one might argue that this box doesn't contain his absolute best as someone below mentioned, I disagree with that person who thinks it isn't worthy of your attention. Nothing could be further from the truth, unless you are a collector or listener who only wants to skim through a music genre. If you love hard bop, how could you go wrong with the great musicians in this collection? Regardless of who's leading who, it is really a fantastic collection of songs played by a peerless group of musicians and packaged with the quality that Mosaic is famous for. I thought that by owning those great 60's records of Hank's, I didn't need anymore. I was wrong.
  Hank the Grrrreat!
My first introduction to Hank was via the Jazz Messengers Columbia set of 1956, having purchased it whilst serving with the R.A.F. in Germany during 1957. This particular album will always be my overall favourite Messengers set. Hank's tenor work opened my ears to his Artistry, along with that of Art Blakey and the remainder of the group, Don Byrd,Horace Silver and Doug Watkins. This set completes the late '50's Hank Mobley material - demonstrating his Superb musicianship on sessions that I had been waiting for, for so Long. Thanks Mosaic!! We now have the complete spectrum of his work.......At Last! Buy it, or this opportunity will be gone and regretted, should those curious or interested not test the waters, while they can. John Cooper.
  A "Set" of "Lasting Memories."
I've had this set for over 10 years now and have not tired of it in that time.
  I'm glad I'm following the last review....
Note to readers of these reviews....DISREGARD the one below mine...The person obviously has no knowledge of jazz...This is an EXCELLENT collection....Not just to hear Hank but also the fine trumpets of Morgan, Dorham and Bryd...If you like Hard Bop then you will love this set! Get it now before having to bid against rich poeple on Ebay for it...
  Spend your money elsewhere
I hate to say it but unless you're a die hard Hank Mobley fan, I would avoid any of his 50's work. Build your collection starting with 1960's Soul Station and go from there. Clearly he was trying to find his groove in this collection and hadn't quite achieved it. There are only a handful of truly memorable tunes in this relatively expensive 6-CD set, half of them listed here as audio sample links (so the samples aren't really representative as a whole). I unfortunately took the previous person's advice ("Just get it") and wish I hadn't. (You might also consider that this set has not sold out after 8 years of availability. It still has a ways to go -- barely 5,000 sold as of June 2006). However, if you're looking for a Mosaic set that's worth the money, look no further than Dexter Gordon's MS-014. Polished, well-seasoned Gordon in live form doesn't compare to studioized, prepubescent Mobley.
  Just get it people.
I've already reviewed this set, but I thought it needed it's 21st review, so here goes . . . . IT'S GREAT! Miss out on it and kick yourself forever.
  Ultimate in Hard Bop
This incredible Hank Mobley box set was my introduction to the wonderful folks at Mosaic Records, and I am looking foward to purchasing many more of their box sets if they are all half as great as this one. This is just a fantastic collection of top-notch hard bop from a sadly over-looked tenor. Hank Mobley WAS hard bop, plain and simple. It actually took me a long time to get through all the music on this set, NOT because it was a touch and go affair with only a few gems, but because the very first CD of the 6 in the box was so great I couldn't stop listening to it over and over again! Do yourself a favor, if you are looking to listen to everything that is right about jazz, pick up this box set before it's too late. This set is not to be missed. From the top-notch packaging, the beautiful photographs in the thoroughly researched full-size booklet, to the outstanding music itself, this box set is perfection! THIS is how music is meant to be presented! Bravo to Hank Mobley, and bravo to Mosaic for making this
Unbelievable set with tons of great playing from Mobley, Lee Morgan, Philly Joe, Paul Chambers, and many more! A must-have all the way.
  Soul Station & Roll Call 1960
HANK MOBLEY for PRESIDENT!!!! All recordings this GIANT of music made in 50's & 60's are FANTASTIC!!!! I love this swinging stuff! WYNTON KELLY for PRESIDENT too!!!! Enjoy it NajPonk4.
I have many Mosaic sets,and this is one of my favs.If you dig 50's Hardbop with the Blue Note Sound-this set is for you!! Great to see so many of these long disappeared records back on CD.Another Mosaic coup!! P.S. Great rhythm sections as well,stars are all over the place. Dr.Jeff Monroe,Radio Antenna Uno- Italy
  Mobley's magic rhythm sections
Hank Mobley is one of the most underrated musicians in the jazzworld. He is not exciting in the way a Rollins, Coltrane of A Joe Henderson is. But when you're looking for a soulful and swinging cat than is Mobley the guy you're looking for. This particulair boxset gives you the 1ste half of Mobley's career with Blue Note records. My personal meaning is that mobley was at his peak between 1960 and 1965. Well that period of Mobley will come later in a seperate box. But this early hardbop stuff is also great. Not Mobley alone but what do you think of al; that magnificent rhythmsections he's playing with. For rhythmplayers (piano, bass, drums) root in straight ahead jazz this box is a must have. Listen to the RS of Silver/Watkins/Blakey they're present on several sessions. The seldom heard bassplayer Jimmy Rowser is a gass! Every track on this box is pure magic. Buy it and you will play it over and over again.
  I never was so happy !!
It's very simple: if someone will ask me "What is hard bop?",I will take one of these 6 cds and I will say "Listen to it...This is hard bop!"
  Defining Artist
Mobley is great! Defining jazz musician with great song writing skills and playing. Very expressive style.
  Setting the Standard (One Session at a Time...)
Seriously underrated during his lifetime, Hank Mobley quietly set the standard of excellence for Blue Note during the 50's and 60's; and while his 60's sessions have seen their share of cd reissues, only Peckin' Time remains in print. If you buy only one box set this year, make it this one - Mobley's sound, although not as harmonically challenging as it would later become, is still captivating. This is Blue Note's fifties style at its uncontested best, spanning the fifties and representing no less than 9 Mobley Lps! Get this one, let's put it out of print and make those who don't get it jealous...
  Hank Mobley is HARD BOP!
This is a great collection of music and musicians. The early stuff with Horace Silver is wonderful and the later stuff is equally as good. Highly recommmended for anyone who enjoys the hard bop sound. I play these CS's daily and have converted many, many rock only listeners.
  Do it for the Mobe!
This set is chock full of some solid ass Mobley driven funky hard bop. Wholey shit this set is good. If you dont have it you not only suck but are missing out on a good time. i have everything Mobley ever recorded (i think?!?!?) if you want to talk about him and stuff im at Hell yeah.
  Mobley Magic
If you dig Hank Mobley, you will love this 50's material. It will never replace his 60's dates ("Workout" being a particular favourite with Grant Green, Wynton Kelly, Philly Joe and Mr PC)but it justifies Blue Note's faith in a master tenor performer. He may not have been a hit with Miles but on his own terms he was pure magic!
  Hank Mobley was better than you think.
This set is an excellent one. It is chock full of Mobley originals and good to great playing. Mobley stretches the beat of his sinuous melodies with consistent inventiveness. Although he did not play screaming chromatic chord substitutions, his harmonic sense was "advanced" and wedded to his melodic sensibilities in an organic way that was thoroughly original, bracing at times and the mark of a real master.Having Horace Silver on so many of the tracks is great too-he knows how to keep a soloist in-flight with exciting comping. It is also gratifying to hear Hank with so many first rate trumpet players. There is some material that does not reach atmospheric heights, but even these slow spots are good music.If you like this period and style, you will find it goes down really easy-like a substantive meal.Hank was no lightweight.
  Keeper of the Flame
There’s a telling passage in the narrative that accompanies this excellent set, to the effect that Hank Mobley, throughout his career, remained vastly underrated as a result of constant comparisons to other tenor saxophonists. As an example, during the period of the recordings here, Mobley turned out some melodious stuff at a time when Coltrane, who eclipsed Mobley in popularity, was doing little more than running scales. (But Trane churned out more notes, so I guess he won.) Jazz, however, requires that you be your own person, and Mobley manages that quite well here. In addition to the leader, there’s real talent here, from Art Farmer to Art Taylor to Art Blakey and more. This collection could even be considered a sort of summation of where modern jazz was at the time, but more importantly, there’s good music here. (BL, Tucker, GA)
  Understated Magnificence
Hank Mobley is one of the most prolifically recorded instrumentalists in the history of jazz, mostly as a side-man with the likes of Art Blakey, Horace Silver, and Miles Davis. Yet seldom does his name arise in discussions of the great tenor players. In some respects, the oversight is understandable. He did not approach music with an agenda, a persona, a gimmick or any sort of extra-musical purpose. His tone is warm, exquisitely "natural" and soulful--not husky, penetrating, or dipped in excess testerone. I'm not sure about his background, but if there's any such thing as a natural, "born" musician it's Mobs. He's perhaps the most "reactive" player the music has known. There are tenor players who construct solos out of more or less "set" phrases or formulae (Sonny Stitt); who deliberately create harmonic complexity (Coltrane) or test the limits of a single motif (Rollins). But Mobs is a player who simply takes what he's given--he hears the chord change and reacts to it.
  One of the best Mosaic sets
I have over 30 Mosaic sets and hundreds of jazz LPs and CDs, mostly from this period. Mosaic's Mobley set is as good as anything you will hear from Blue Note, comparable to the best Art Blakey, Horace Silver, etc.
  Nobly, Hank Mobley - review by A. Z. Sanders
Hank Mobley was one of the greatest and yet primarily unknown tenor saxophonist of all-time. My exposure to Mobley came from listening to him as a sideman with the Horace Silver Quintet. Hank's solo on Silver's "Senior Blues" made me a fan for life. Hank Mobley had a style much like Dexter Gordon in that they both played notes that were "long" and "flat". They were the "coolest". Among the many recordings here, I highly recommend the "Peckin' Time" session, which included "Git-Go Blues", "High And Flighty", "Stretchin' Out", and my favorite, "Speak Low". By the way, checkout Lee Morgan on these tunes. For all the Hank Mobley fans, let's hope that Mosaic will soon release the "The Complete Hank Mobley Blue Note Sixties Sessions".
  Great Music.
Hank music is full of fire within a storm and it stands with any music out there. He put his stamp on hardbop and the rest is history.With giants like Coltrane, Rollins, Gordon, around it is very easy to get lost in the mix.But with this set Mosaic makes it clear that Hank belong in the pantheon of great tenor players. Give it a listen you will be forever going back to this set time and time again. Thanks Mosaic.
  Overlooked Gem
I first heard Hank Mobley when I bought his BEST OF THE BLUE NOTE YEARS cd.I fell in love with his playing immediately. I won't claim to be an expert on jazz but like most people, I have certain types of music that appeals to me more than others. I found Hank's relaxed yet swinging style to be extremely rewarding. I've been a fan ever since. With the release of this box set, Mosaic Records has done all fans of hard bop a major favor. All the music in this set is superb and deserves to be heard by a wide audience. My only disapointment is that this set has not sold out already. If you like the hard bop sound as the musicians at Blue Note played it, you will not go wrong buying this set. Five Stars all the way.
  Music to enjoy!
There is not much that I can add to the first review, but I want to endorse it. This set is loaded with great music to enjoy. It is a tragedy that Hank Mobley did not become a star, and instead struggled and vanished in the 1970s and 1980s. But for our benefit, Alfred Lion recorded him extensively and most of his music is today available. Great sax playing, great jazz.
  Quintessential Hard Bop From Hank Mobley
Jazz critics and historians have always placed too much emphasis on the key innovators, the avant garde, and various Europeanizations of jazz. Little ink is left over for other superb and influential musicians, such as tenor sax players Ben Webster, Hank Mobley, and the even more obscure Ike Quebec. The good folks at Mosaic Records have done much to rectify this situation, and the Complete Blue Note Hank Mobley Fifties Sessions is no exception. Along with Art Blakey and Horace Silver, Hank Mobley exemplifies Blue Note hard bop, a form of jazz strongly rooted in blues and gospel, the wellsprings of African-American music. Reviews of Mobley generally begin by mentioning that he played second fiddle (or second horn) to Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane. However, this is more a function of the critical bias discussed above than any shortcomings in Mobley's highly inventive music. Mobley's album Soul Station sneaks into some critics' top 200 jazz albums. It belongs in

The Complete Blue Note Hank Mobley Fifties Sessions (#181)
The Complete Blue Note Hank Mobley Fifties Sessions (#181)
Limited Edition: 7500 copies
6 CDs - $96.00

Customer Reviews:

"I have many Mosaic sets,and this is one of my favs. If you dig 50's Hardbop with the Blue Note Sound-this set is for you!"
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