So tonight I turned the sound down on the Phillies game and turned up the stereo and spent a jazzy Saturday night listening to albums from Blue Mitchell, Wynton Kelly, and Hank Mobley. Of the three Hank Mobley is the musician I know the least about, but his album Soul Station was my favorite of the evening. The link between the three albums is the piano artistry of Wynton Kelly.
I first heard Blue Mitchell’s trumpet when he played on two John Mayall albums in the early 70s. The album I listened to tonight was Blue’s Moods released in 1960. The album features Blue surrounded by the piano of Wynton Kelly, the bass of Sam Jones and Ray Brooks on drums. The quartet makes their way through four standards, Ronnell Bright’s “Sweet Pumpkin,” and the obscure “Avars,” and two originals. The album has a four star (out of five) editors rating at AllMusic and I whole-heartily agree!
Next up was a Wynton Kelly album Kelly Blue on this album released in 1959, Wynton was surrounded by his former Miles Davis band mates, Paul Chambers on bass, Jimmy Cobb on drums, clarinetist Nate Adderly, Bobby Jasper on flute and Benny Colson on tenor saxophone, The album is composed of three Kelly originals and four familiar standards (including “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise” and “Willow Weep for Me”) As always Kelly’s piano is great and his band mates are no slouches! The album has an editor’s rating of 4 1/2 stars at AllMusic
The final album of the night was Hank Mobley’s 1960 release Soul Station. The album features a stellar band including: Art Blakey on drums, Paul Chambers on bass, and Wynton Kelly on piano.It was the first album since Mobley’s 1955 début to feature him as a leader without any other accompanying horns. This is a great album each of the musicians is in top form. Both Blakey and Kelly’s performances stand out, but it’s the great sax of Mobley that will send me in search of more of his albums! The album features two standards, “Remember” and “If I Should Lose You,” that are bookends for four Mobley originals As I was listening, I thought this is a great album and the editors at AllMusic agree giving the album a five-star rating!!! From Wikipedia:
Mobley was forced to retire in the mid-1970s due to lung problems. He worked two engagements at the Angry Squire in New York City November 22 and 23, 1985 and January 11, 1986 in a quartet with Duke Jordan and guest singer Lodi Carr a few months before his death from pneumonia in 1986. Full Biography
So it was a great night of jazz and if the Phils can pull out a win in this second game it will make the night complete!! Here’s “Dig Dis” from Hank Mobley’s Soul Station.