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Hank Mobley….exploring his music

Hank Mobley – Tenor Saxophone – Composer 

 (July 7, 1930 – May 30, 1986)

I first discovered the saxophone of Hank Mobley one night in 2014 when I was exploring some jazz. That night I explored the music of Blue Mitchell, Wynton Kelly and Hank Mobley. One that night Hank Mobley’s album Soul Station was my favorite of the night!! You can read about it in- A Jazzy Night with Music from Blue, Wynton and Hank and friends!! Here’s some background information about Hank Mobley from Wikipedia:

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, and his style that was laid-back, subtle and melodic, especially in contrast with players like Sonny Rollins and Coltrane. The critic Stacia Proefrock claimed he is “one of the most underrated musicians of the bop era.”

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Night and Day – Vincent Herring

Vincent Herring – Night and Day – A 2015 Favorite!

Back on May 12 I was excited to see that saxophonist Vincent Herring had released a new album titled Night and Day. Then I saw on the album cover who Herring had playing with him on the album and I was even more excited! The other members of this quintet include: Brandi Disterheft on bass, Joe Farnsworth on drums, pianist Mike LeDonne and trumpeter, Jeremy Pelt, Both Disterheft and Farnsworth played with Herring on his last album Uptown Shuffle. On Night and Day. Mike LeDonne replaces Cyrus Chestnut on piano and Jeremy Pelt is a new addition! I first listened to some of the great piano of Mie LeDonne back in 2010 when I started to blog. I listened to his album Bag’s Groove and really liked it! Since then I’ve listened to several of his albums and each time I have been impressed by his playing. As for Jeremy Pelt I first listened to his fine trumpet on a night that I listened to trumpeters Pelt, Terrence Blanchard and Ambrose Akinmusrie! Since then like LeDonne I have listened to several of Pelt’s albums and always come away impressed. The interplay between Pelt’s trumpet and Herring’s sax is what makes this Night and Day really special for me. In his review of the album in The New York Times Nate Chinen writes this about this interplay…

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Bosch and Art Pepper Perfect Together!

Watching Bosch leads to the Music of Art Pepper

Last night my wife and I finished watching the first season of Bosch on Amazon Prime. The series is based on the books of Michael Connelly featuring LA Detective Harry Bosch.  If you haven’t seen it do, because it’s really, really good. I have not read many of the Harry Bosch books, but what I have read I have enjoyed, and there are three of them on my TBR shelves! Michael Connelly is the executive producer of the show and I’m sure he has a lot of say over the way Harry is portrayed, which makes the series that much better!

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Cannonball Adderley – Things Are Getting Better

Things Are Getting Better is the 11th album by jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, and his second release on the Riverside label. The album was released in 1959, when I was 8, so that explains how I missed it on the first go around… Anyway, I had Things Are Getting Better on in the background this morning as I was working on this blog, so I haven’t really listen that closely to the album. But from what I heard and am listening to now, this one’s a keeper. I first chose Things Are Getting Better because of Milt Jackson‘s presence on the album, but then I saw the other players, i.e Wynton Kelly and Art Blakey and then I knew this was the first album to listen to from Cannonball……

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Exploring the Music of Jazz Saxophonist Vincent Herring on his birthday – November 19th!!

Vincent HerringAmong those who are celebrating their birthdays today is jazz saxophonist Vincent Herring, who was born on this day, November 19th in 1964. The year of the great Phillies collapse and the year I went to both a World Series game and the baseball All-Star game in New York. It was a great year for a 13 year-old! Anyway, back to Vincent Herring, even though he has released albums as a leader since 1989’s American Experience, I just discovered his music back in January, when I listened to his 2013 release The Uptown Shuffle, to say the least I was very impressed by his playing!! You can read my post New Jazz from Saxophonist Vincent Herring – The Uptown Shuffle!! to find out more about Vincent and the album. Tonight to celebrate Vincent’s 50th, I thought I’d go back and listen to one of his earliest  albums Dawnbird released in 1993 on the Landmark label. Ron Wynn write this about the album in his review at AllMusic….

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Exploring the Jazz Saxophone of Houston Person, on the days following his 80th birthday!!

Houston PersonHouston Person is a jazz artist whose name I have seen on the JazzWeek Chart, as recently as this week where his latest release as a leader TheMelody Lingers On is now at # 9, but I had yet to listen to any of his music until last week, when on his birthday, November 1oth I listened to two of the albums he recorded with legendary bassist Ron Carter, Something in Common  from 1989 and Now’s the Time released in 1990. Both albums were released on the Muse label and were recorded at the Van Gelder Studios with  Rudy Van Gelder serving as the engineer. I have listened mostly to Now’s the Time and for me it is simply an incredible album, just the two of them, a bass and a saxophone blending together, soaring alone! Ron Carter has played on many of the jazz albums I have listened to over the years, but I don’t think that I have heard the terrific Mr. Person before, as such I needed to go and find out about the man whose saxophone sounded so different from most of the saxs I have heard through the years……from Wikipedia..

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Jazz Album of the Day – Motif from the Greg Abate Quartet

MotifA good point guard on the basketball court elevates the players around him and makes them better players. That’s just what jazz saxophonist, flutist,  and composer Greg Abate does on his latest release Motif and as a result the album is currently among the most added albums on the JazzWeek Chart and I look forward to tracking its upward movement on the chart, over the coming weeks! It doesn’t hurt though, that the other members of his quartet are, like Greg professors at the Berklee College Music, even so, on the album Greg’s compositions give each member of the quartet room to “do their thing” and boy do they know how to do it!! The first time I listened to the album I thought that the leader of the band could be the piano player Tim Ray, because he  stood out so much through the first couple of tracks.  But then Greg’s great sounding sax kicked in and a few tracks later his flute appeared and I knew who the leader was!

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Jazz Album of the Day: Paul Carr – B3 Sessions (DC-NY)


The jazz album of the day is B3 Sessions (DC-NY) from tenor saxophonist Paul Carr. The album was released in back in August onB3 Sessions the Blue House Production label and is a combination of two live sessions. One of the sessions was held at the Blue House Productions’s recording studion in Maryland and the other at Avatar Studios in New York. The album had risen on the JazzWeek chart and on the latest chart the album is #9!

Paul Carr was born and raised in Texas where his musical journey started, studying and playing with local artists like saxophonists Don Wilkerson, Arnett Cobb, and educator Conrad Johnson. His college education began with a full two-year scholarship to Texas Southern University and ended with a degree in music performance from Howard University in Washington D.C. Since then Carr has been a mainstay of the Washington Jazz scene playing venues…

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Exploring the Jazz Saxophone of Ernie Watts – A Simple Truth

Way back in 1972, tenor saxophone player, Ernie Watts joined the horn section of John Mayall’s A Simple TruthBluesbreakers, teaming with fellow sax players Clifford Soloman and Charlie Owens, and trumpeter Blue Mitchell, The resulting album was Mayall’s 1973 release Movin’ On. This was during Mayall’s jazz-blues fusion years and the two albums produced in those years are both favorites!

I haven’t thought much about Ernie Watts in the last 4o some odd years, until the other day when I saw that the Ernie Watts Quartet has a new album A Simple Truth moving up the JazzWeek Charts. From an Ernie Watts press release….

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Today in Jazz – Wayne Shorter’s 81st Birthday! (Aug 25, 1933)

Wayne ShorterSo you can probably count on you fingers how many musicians are still performing beyond the age of 80. Two that I can think of off the top of my head are  B.B. King and Tony Bennett, and when Wayne Shorter,  Wayne Shorter joined that group last year and this year Wayne will kick off a European Tour on October  16th in Croatia. Among the destinations are Sweden, Denmark, Spain and Portugl! Wayne was born in Newark, New Jersey on August 25,1933.

For some unknown reason, I know Wayne’s name, but until last year, I had not really listened to any of his best albums. I know I have heard his sax before, I have some Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, along with Miles Davis in my collection and I know I’ve listened to Weather Report! Can you say, once again, too much music, too little time! So this post is not only for you readers, but for me, too! From Wikiipedia:

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