Recent listening, current

Thursday, April 25, 2013

92. Hank Mobley / A Slice of the Top (1966)

I just picked up this 1966 session by Hank Mobley and it's an odd one. Mobley is featured in the midst of several other interesting young players: McCoy Tyner does piano, Reggie Workman on bass and Billy Higgins on drums --  a good rhythm section of highly individualistic voices, plus Lee Morgan, Kiane Zawadi, Howard Johnson, and James Spaulding. The record is odd for choice of instrumentation, containing euphonium and tuba in addition to tenor, flute, and alto sax. Arrangements by Duke Pearson try to give order to this motley bunch but I can't help feeling that that the whole thing is a little awkward. It's a quartet (or quintet), that looks to be struggling to accommodate the extra pieces in a way that is relevant. At times the octet plods along like two people walking in the same pair of pants, instead of swinging in a tight but dangerously crowded arrangement, as demonstrated by similarly orchestrated groups of Charles Mingus or Thelonious Monk. I'll have to keep listening and I get the keen feeling that this one will grow on me. Look out!

No comments:

Post a Comment