If the title of “Mr. Blue Note” had been given out to a performer, tenor-saxophonist Hank Mobley would have been its recipient. Mobley’s smooth tone and style defined the hard bop era. He put plenty of emotion and intensity into every note he played. During 1955-70, Blue Note’s greatest years, Mobley led 25 Blue Note albums and appeared as a sideman on many others. Soul Station, a quartet gem from 1960, is unusual in that Mobley is the only horn, heading a group also including pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Blakey; needless to say, a stellar rhythm section!
• Remastered from the Original Rudy Van Gelder Blue Note Master Tapes!
• Remastered by Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman at Acoustech
• Cut at 45rpm for Better Sound!
• Pressed on two 180 gram Virgin Vinyl LPs by RTI
• Ultra-Durable, Extra Thick Album Jackets
• Gatefold Album with Session Photos in stunning High Resolution
AllMusic Review by Stacia Proefrock
Often overlooked, perhaps because he wasn’t a great innovator in jazz but merely a stellar performer, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley was at the peak of his powers on Soul Station. Recorded with a superstar quartet including Art Blakey on drums, Paul Chambers on bass, and Wynton Kelly on piano, it was the first album since Mobley’s 1955 debut to feature him as a leader without any other accompanying horns. The clean, uncomplicated sound that resulted from that grouping helps make it the best among his albums and a peak moment during a particularly strong period in his career. Mobley has no problem running the show here, and he does it without being flashy or burying the strong work of his sidemen. The solidness of his technique means that he can handle material that is occasionally rhythmically intricate, while still maintaining the kind of easy roundness and warmth displayed by the best players of the swing era. Two carefully chosen standards, “Remember” and “If I Should Lose You,” help to reinforce that impression by casting an eye back to the classic jazz era. They bookend four Mobley originals that, in contrast, reflect the best of small-group composition with their lightness and tight dynamics. Overall, this is a stellar set from one of the more underrated musicians of the bop era.
2. This I Dig of You
3. Dig Dis
2. Soul Station
3. If I Should Lose You