Workout (CD)


Hank Mobley

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Amoeba Review

John Schacht 05/15/2010

Considered one of Hank Mobley’s best sessions, this 1961 quintet date finds “the middleweight tenor champ” in fine company with Miles Davis’ rhythm section (drummer Philly Joe Jones, bassist Paul Chambers and pianist Wynton Kelly) and guitarist Grant Green. Befitting its title, the record opens with two extensive workouts: the 10-minute title track features a leaner, more lyrical Mobley getting pushed hard by Jones and Chambers, and Green showing off an ability to swing even in his one-note-at-a-time style; the even longer “Uh-Huh” is the type of deep-groove blues that showcases Mobley’s considerable soul, also the defining trait of Kelly, whose comping and soloing is another track highlight. “Smokin’” does just that as Chambers and Jones push the soloists to feverish heights. What impresses is the control Mobley shows at this breakneck pace, and the touch he exhibits on the more relaxed “The Best Things In Life Are Free.” Green, too, is impressive here, his single-note runs of pull-offs and hammer-ons well-suited for this pace. The interplay between Kelly and Mobley shines brightest on the slinky blues of the tenor’s composition “Greasin’ Easy” and the bright take on “Three Coins in a Fountain,” which is included on the reissue since it exceeded the original LP limit. Though the arrangements are too tight and complex to be a pure blowing session, these tracks retain the loose feel of one and highlight the players’ familiarity with each other, making this a worthy entry in Mobley’s catalog.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Workout
Hank Mobley 10:00
2.
Uh Huh
Hank Mobley 10:45
3.
Smokin'
Hank Mobley 07:28
4.
The Best Things in Life Are Free
Hank Mobley 05:16
5.
Greasin' Easy
Hank Mobley 06:59
6.
Three Coins in the Fountain
Hank Mobley 05:25

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