Hank Mobley & “Philly” Joe Jones (4)

fri 14 apr 2023
Theme: Jazz

House of Hard Bop on Saturday 15 April 17:00 CET completes our series about Hank Mobley and “Philly” Joe Jones.
No Room for Squares was one of the albums that tenorist Hank Mobley recorded for Blue Note in 1963. This album was recorded with trumpetist Lee Morgan (see photo), who also composed the ballad Carolyn. Straight No Filter contains recordings made between 1963 and 1966. These also feature Morgan, but also include contributions by another trumpeter Donald Byrd. The Flip (1969) features music recorded in Paris during the ‘European period’ of Mobley and Jones.

In 1963, Mobley could be found several times in Rudy Van Gelder’s studio together with quintets that included “Philly” Joe Jones. Trumpet, piano and bass were different each time. One of the results was the album No Room for Squares. The fast opening piece, Three Way Split, is full of energy. There is extensive soloing by Mobley, trumpetist Lee Morgan and drummer Jones. It almost seems as if a fire breaks out during the penultimate solo by Morgan.

The next track, Carolyn, offers an opportunity to cool down and creates an almost meditative mood. Lee Morgan was responsible for this ballad in which the sax and trumpet complement each other melodically in a contrapuntal arrangement. They ultimately find each other in the last bars of the theme. Towards the end of the piece the improvisation by Morgan switches seamlessly into a return to the theme. A surprising and moving moment!

In No Room for Squares we return to a higher tempo.

The soulful record Straight No Filter is a compilation of recordings from 1963, 1965 and 1966. Four fine tracks in which Jones is often using his snare on the 2 and the 4.

Mobley left for Europe in 1968. Jones had made the crossing a year earlier. A year later they are together again in the Studio Barclay in Paris where they are accompanied by trombonist Slide Hampton and Jamaican trumpeter Dizzy Reece, among others. Mobley was touring with pianist Rob Agerbeek in that period, and would have loved to have brought him along. But alas, Vince Benedetti was already booked by Francis Wolff. The recordings were released by Blue Note in 1970 with the title The FlipMobley was responsible for all compositions.

Feelin’ Folksy is the apt title for a simple, sing-along theme. Jones then pours his petrol on to the campfire to set it ablaze.

The faster Early Morning Stroll turns out to be a tough walk with its angular theme and demands full attention from the listener.

The Flip was Hank Mobley’s penultimate album for Blue Note. The count finally stopped at twenty-five.

This is the last in a series of four programmes about Hank Mobley & “Philly” Joe Jones.

These links take you to the first, second and third programmes in the series and these links take you to more information about the first, second and third programmes.

House of Hard Bop – a programme by Eric Ineke