Hank Mobley and “Philly ” Joe Jones (2)

mon 16 jan 2023
Theme: Jazz
Saturday 21st January 2023, 5:00 PM – House of Hard Bop. In March 1961, tenorist Hank Mobley is in Rudy van Gelder’s recording studio. His co-players are guitarist Grant Green, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer “Philly” Joe Jones. The result is the LP Workout, released by Blue Note Records. Authoritative jazz writer Scott Yanow*) includes the record in his list of “17 Essential Hard Bop Recordings”.
Mobley & Miles Davis
Swap out one player in this group, Grant Green out, and Miles Davis in, and you’ve got the Miles Davis Quintet from the same era. After John Coltrane’s firing, Davis replaced him with Mobley. He did not have to count on compliments from his new employer. On the contrary: Davis was rather generous with his criticism. How he regretted that Coltrane could no longer be maintained… And Mobley, there was little inspiration from that… In Davis’ words: “Playing with Hank just wasn’t fun for me; he didn’t stimulate my imagination.”
The Davis-Mobley combination has been recorded on a few records, including Someday My Prince Will Come, as well as Workout recorded in March 1961. The making of that album is extremely interesting, because of the sudden appearance of John Coltrane in the recording studio. That story has been beautifully put into words by saxophonist Tom Beek.
Grant Green
Guitarist Grant Green was basically Blue Note Records’ resident guitarist in the 1960s. For the label he records more than 25 records under his own name. He is a sideman on more than 60 other recordings for various labels. One of his formats is the organ trio, popular in the 1950s and 1960s. In terms of musical style, this was also in line with the R&B and rock&roll from his younger playing years. In a later phase of life we hear him again in r&b and electric funk environments.
Green’s hard bop improvisations are characterized by long melodic lines, the so-called single note lines. Compared to other jazz guitarists, he is sparing with chords.
The album Workout opens with the title track of the same name. The spicy opening, and the solo that heralds the closing theme, are performed by drummer “Philly” Joe Jones. The five pieces have traditional, simple forms, including two 12-part blues.
Happy Hardbob!
The programme opens with two pieces from the Poppin’ album. This is part 2 of a series of 4. Click here for the first broadcast and, and click here for the accompanying Newsletter.
House of Hard Bop – Eric Ineke.
*) Scott Yanow is a principal author of the All Music Guide to Jazz, a leading guide to biographies and record reviews. He also wrote the biographies for the book Jazz Lives by programme maker and photographer Jaap van de Klomp. Jazz Lives is a book of photographs of jazz musicians’ graves, with an introduction by Dan Morgenstern and an essay by Bill Crow. The book is still available in the ramsj, and from the author.