Hank Mobley – No Room For Squares (Vinyl LP)


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*This is a Vinyl LP*

Release Date:  2014

Label:  Blue Note Records


Track List

Side A

A1. Three Way Split 7:47
A2. Carolyn 5:28
A3. Up A Step 8:29

Side B

B1. No Room For Squares 6:55
B2. Me ‘N You 7:15
B3. Old World, New Imports 6:05



Bass – Butch Warren (tracks: A3, B3), John Ore (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2)
Drums – Philly Joe Jones
Piano – Andrew Hill (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2), Herbie Hancock (tracks: A3, B3)
Tenor Saxophone – Hank Mobley
Trumpet – Donald Byrd (tracks: A3, B3), Lee Morgan (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B2)



By 1963, Mobley had undergone a transformation of tone. Replacing the scintillating airiness of his late-’50s sides was a harder, more strident, almost honking one, due in part to the influence of John Coltrane and in part to Mobley’s deeper concentration on the expressing blues feeling in his trademark hard bop tunes. Mobley assembled a crack band for this blues-drenched hard-rollicking set made up of material written by either him or trumpeter Lee Morgan. Other members of the ensemble were pianist Andrew Hill, drummer Philly Joe Jones, and bassist John Ore. The title track, which opens the set, is a stand-in metaphor for the rest: Mobley’s strong and knotty off-minor front-line trading fours with Hill that moves into brief but aggressive soloing for he and Morgan and brings the melody back, altered with the changes from Hill. On Morgan’s “Me ‘n’ You,” an aggressive but short bluesed-out vamp backed by a mutated samba beat, comes right out of the Art Blakey book of the blues and is articulated wonderfully by Mobley’s solo, which alternates between short, clipped phrases along the line of the changes and longer trill and ostinatos where the end of a musical line is dictated by his breath rather than a chord change. Morgan is in the pocket of the blue shades, coloring the ends of his lines with trills and short staccato bursts, warping them in Hill’s open, chromatic voicings. All six cuts here move with similar fluidity and offer a very gritty and realist approach to the roots of hard bop. Highly recommended.               Thom Jurec

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