Virtual Jazz at the Bechtler: Tribute to the Music of Hank Mobley



Virtual Jazz at the Bechtler: Tribute to the Music of Hank Mobley

In November, the Ziad Jazz Quartet paid tribute to the life and music of Jazz legend Hank Mobley. The Quartet took center stage at The Playroom to perform Mobley compositions such as "High & Flighty, "The Morning After", "Madeline", and many others. Performing alongside Ziad on tenor saxophone was Sean Higgins on piano, Ron Brendle on bass, and Al Sergel on drums.

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About Hank Mobley

American tenor saxophonist and composer, Henry "Hank" Mobley (1930 – 1986), is known for being a gifted tenor player in the hard bop vein, and was a Blue Note regular who crafted solos with precision and rhythmic vigor. Mobley recorded prolifically in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and was famously described by critic Leonard Feather, as the "middleweight champion of the tenor", referring to his style and tone, which wasn't as aggressive and thick as John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins but was not as soft and cool as Stan Getz or Lester Young. Instead, Mobley's in-between, "round" (as he described it) sound was controlled and even, given over to subtlety rather than intense displays of emotion.

Early in his career, Mobley worked with musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach. He took part in one of the earliest hard bop sessions, alongside Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Doug Watkins, and trumpeter Kenny Dorham. Together the group produced Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers. During the 1960s, he worked for Blue Note Records where he would create what is considered to be his finest album, Soul Station. During this time, Mobley performed with many other important hard bop players, such as Grant Green, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Clark, Wynton Kelly, and Philly Joe Jones, and formed a particularly productive partnership with trumpeter Lee Morgan. In addition, Mobley spent a brief time with Miles Davis in 1961, during the trumpeter's search for a replacement for John Coltrane.

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