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Hank Mobley

Biography

In the 1950s, when most Hard Boppers were busy trying to outdo each other in speed, complexity and intensity, the quietly masterful Hank Mobley was concentrating on his big, warm tenor tone and thoughtful phrasing, making every note he played count. He burst onto the jazz scene in 1951, playing with Max Roach; three years later, he began playing with the Horace Silver Quintet. Then began his solo career. His most popular LP, Soul Station, contained the memorable tune “This I Dig of You,” which soon became a Hard Bop standard. Mobley’s sensitive, introverted understatements made him an ideal counterpart to Miles Davis, with whom he played in 1961-2. Drug convictions cut short his stint with Davis, but Mobley soon returned to the jazz scene. Beginning in 1965, he recorded a string of albums for Blue Note, as well as recording and touring with various bands. Mobley retired from jazz in 1975.
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