Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hank Mobley - Workout (1961)

Another Hank Mobley Blue Note sesh fer ye. Workout features one of my favorite jazz guitarists, Grant Green, whose style I associate with tasteful restraint. His playing and tone are unique and instantly recognizable as his own. Like the last Hank record we posted, Wynton Kelly and Paul Chambers are back. However this time Philly Joe takes the stool in place of Art Blakey.


1. Workout
2. Uh Huh
3. Smokin'
4. The Best Things In Life Are Free
5. Greasin' Easy
6. Three Coins In The Fountain


Hank Mobley, tenor sax
Grant Green, guitar
Wynton Kelly, piano
Paul Chambers, bass
Philly Joe Jones, drums

Produced by Alfred Lion
Originally recorded on March 26, 1961 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Remastered in 2005 by Rudy Van Gelder
All transfers from analog to digital were made at 24-bit resolution.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kurt Weill - September Songs

Kurt Weill is best known for his collaboration with Bertolt Brecht on The Threepenny Opera . The songs he composed for it have become standards and countless interpretations exist, especially the oft-performed "Mack The Knife". Nick Cave delivers on his version, although I think it could have benefited from a Bad Seeds interpretation closer to their "Avalanche" cover. It's a pretty diverse lineup, featuring PJ Harvey, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello and others. I'm glad they kept Lotte Lenya's original version of "Seeräuber Jenny", for she really is an inimitable character.


1. Mack The Knife (Nick Cave)
2. Ballad of the Soldier's Wife (P.J. Harvey)
3. Alabama Song from The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (David Johansen)
4. Youkali Tango from Marie Galante (Teresa Stratas)
5. Lost in the Stars from Lost in the Stars (Elvis Costello)
6. Pirate Jenny from The Threepenny Opera (Lotte Lenya)
7. Speak Low from One Touch of Venus
8. Oh, Heavenly Salvation from The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (The Persuasions)
9. Lonely House from Street Scene (Betty Carter)
10. Weill: Happy End - Der Kleine Leutnant Des Lieben Gottes (Teresa Stratas)
11. Don't Be Afraid from Happy End (Mary Margaret O'Hara)
12. September Song from Knickerbocker Holiday (Lou Reed)
13. Mack The Knife from The Threepenny Opera (Bertolt Brecht)
14. What Keeps Mankind Alive? from The Threepenny Opera (William S. Burroughs)


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hank Mobley - Soul Station (1960)

I'm really feeling Hank Mobley right now. He seems to be a relatively-forgotten figure in the sax world, especially compared with tenor giants like Trane and Sonny Rollins. We already posted some Hank earlier on Shhh, but in a larger group context that included trumpeters Lee Morgan and Donald Byrd. Here, in quartet setting, Hank really is the star. It doesn't hurt that behind him is an incredibly solid, all-star rhythm section. Hank can kill it on the faster bop numbers but there is a beautiful delicacy to his playing that I really admire. I'm also into how concise these Blue Note sessions are. Dig it.

Hank Mobley, tenor saxophone
Wynton Kelly, piano
Paul Chambers, bass
Art Blakey, drums

Produced by Alfred Lion
Recorded on February 7, 1960 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Originally recorded and remastered in 1998 by Rudy Van Gelder
All transfers from analog to digital were made at 24-bit resolution

Reissue produced by Michael Cuscuna
Cover photograph by Francis Wolff
Cover design by Reid Miles
Liner photographs from the actual session by Francis Wolff © Mosaic Images
Originally issued as Blue Note BLP 4031 and BST 84031