Hank Mobley

Georgia, US
Artist / Band / Musician
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THIS IS HANK MOBLEY TRIBUTE PAGE TO PRESERVE HIS LEGACY AND MUSIC. PRIVATELY CONSTRUCTED BY A LOYAL JAZZFAN. Henry (Hank) Mobley (July 7, 1930 May 30, 1986) was an American hard bop and soul jazz tenor saxophonist and composer. Mobley was described by Leonard Feather as the "middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone", a metaphor used to describe his tone that was neither as aggressive as John Coltrane nor as mellow as Stan Getz. This description however was translated by jazz connoisseurs as though Mobley was mediocre. And, as his style was laid-back, subtle and melodic, especially in contrast with players like Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, it took connoisseurs until after his demise to fully appreciate his talent.
Mobley was born in Eastman, Georgia, but was raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey, near Newark. Early in his career, he worked with Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach. He took part on one of the landmark hard bop sessions, alongside Blakey, Silver and trumpeter Kenny Dorham. The results of these sessions were released as Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers. They contrasted with the classical pretentions of cool jazz, with Mobley's rich lyricism being bluesier, alongside the funky approach of Horace Silver. When The Jazz Messengers split in 1956, Mobley continued on with pianist Horace Silver for a short time, although he did work again with Blakey several years later.
During the 1960s, he worked chiefly as a leader, recording 25 albums for Blue Note Records, including Soul Station and Roll Call, between 1955 and 1970. He performed with many of the most important hard bop players and formed a particularly productive partnership with trumpeter Lee Morgan.
Mobley also spent a brief time in 1961 with Miles Davis, during the trumpeter's search for a replacement for John Coltrane. He is heard on the album Someday My Prince Will Come (alongside Coltrane, who returned for the recording of some tracks), and some live recordings (In Person: Live at the Blackhawk and At Carnegie Hall). Though criticized by some for not having the improvisational fire of Coltrane, Mobley was still a major voice on tenor saxophone, known for his melodic playing.
Mobley was forced to retire in the mid-1970s due to lung problems. He worked briefly with Duke Jordan before his death of pneumonia in 1986.
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