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Milestones

Hank Mobley

162 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

Thank you, that means my memory was right, that he only said something about who is the oldest, Lou or him. 

Thanks Dan Gould, I think some day I might purchase that CD. It´s always a bit difficult for me, since I´m more the musician type listener and less the collector. But Mraz-Al Foster sounds great. What a pity they chose "Atumn Leaves" as the only tune with Mobley: I mean nothing wrong with the tune and the Miles version with Wayne and Herbie is some of the greatest music ever, but I don´t like it , that on jam sessions so many of the not really good musicians want to play it..... , too bad they didn´t choose some of those fine Mobley compositions......

I read the old thread and one of the guys answers that he doesn´t like Al Foster . Different tastes, Foster is my favourite drummer and if I had those "three wishes" like in Pannonica´s book, one of them would be to play a gig with Al Foster on drums .....

I think I even saw that little photo of Hank Mobley on google pictures, I didn´t recognize him, a very old man with white hair.....

I thought he was very recognizable but the gray hair was offputting and as I recall I said something about seeing a certain "sadness" in Hank's eyes.  I sold my copy of the CD during the Great Purge in 2008-9 and I can't find the photo online at all. BTW they did play Hank's Early Morning Stroll but the take of Autumn Leaves must have been the best of the bunch.

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44 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

I thought he was very recognizable but the gray hair was offputting and as I recall I said something about seeing a certain "sadness" in Hank's eyes.  I sold my copy of the CD during the Great Purge in 2008-9 and I can't find the photo online at all. BTW they did play Hank's Early Morning Stroll but the take of Autumn Leaves must have been the best of the bunch.

I saw the photo and it was very very small and I didn´t even know it is Hank Mobley, I remember before I saw the saxophone I thought it is Slide Hampton in later years.....

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I asked Michael Cuscuna how Mobley's "speech" came about and he said that they tried finding him beforehand with no luck. The night of the concert, Michael was backstage when Mobley came up behind him and "tapped him on the shoulder". Michael went on to say, "The only thing I could think of was to drag him out to say a few words. He didn’t play for every possible reason: no planned performance, no horn, no chops. It would have been great but..."

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Came across these on FB:

 

Mobley-1980s.jpg

 

Mobley-Headstone.jpg

 

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Cds you say?  i still never understood where this was released from?  i thought it was a bonus 45 in a japanese only album set of all volumes.  

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11 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

Came across these on FB:

 

Mobley-1980s.jpg

 

Mobley-Headstone.jpg

 

That photo is not bad. Maybe late 70´s ? 

18 hours ago, bresna said:

I asked Michael Cuscuna how Mobley's "speech" came about and he said that they tried finding him beforehand with no luck. The night of the concert, Michael was backstage when Mobley came up behind him and "tapped him on the shoulder". Michael went on to say, "The only thing I could think of was to drag him out to say a few words. He didn’t play for every possible reason: no planned performance, no horn, no chops. It would have been great but..."

Yes, Hank Mobley ..... and Dexter Gordon too. The old masters. 
But it is interesting that Mobley later played one of his last gigs in NY at a joint called "Angry Squire". Far from his peak, but it seems that he wanted to play again. 

Same with Dexter: In some german review of the concert they wrote that it´s a pity that Dexter was feeling to unwell to play. 
But about the same time he made his performances in the Round Midnight film in Paris. Though also far from his peak, it´s a mircacle that suffering of emphisema and cronic alcoolism he could play a few tunes.....

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6 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

That photo is not bad. Maybe late 70´s ? 

Yes, Hank Mobley ..... and Dexter Gordon too. The old masters. 
But it is interesting that Mobley later played one of his last gigs in NY at a joint called "Angry Squire". Far from his peak, but it seems that he wanted to play again. 

Same with Dexter: In some german review of the concert they wrote that it´s a pity that Dexter was feeling to unwell to play. 
But about the same time he made his performances in the Round Midnight film in Paris. Though also far from his peak, it´s a mircacle that suffering of emphisema and cronic alcoolism he could play a few tunes.....

Seems Dexter faired better than Hank in the 70's. Record deals (Steeplechase, Columbia of all places!) gigs, whereas Hank was a ghost. I'd be curious how Hank got through the 70's!

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2 hours ago, Holy Ghost said:

Seems Dexter faired better than Hank in the 70's. Record deals (Steeplechase, Columbia of all places!) gigs, whereas Hank was a ghost. I'd be curious how Hank got through the 70's!

I read somewhere that he was homeless and living on the streets near the end, so "got through the 70's" maybe isn't quite true?

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36 minutes ago, bresna said:

I read somewhere that he was homeless and living on the streets near the end, so "got through the 70's" maybe isn't quite true?

Right, in Phila I think. Sad. 

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Just pulled of the shelf and played the Tete Montoliu CD - I Wanna Talk About You - on Steeplechase.

There is a full page photo of Hank Mobley playing the saxophone on the back page of the booklet.

It is a good CD with Tete, George Marz and Al Foster. Too bad Hank only plays on one tune.

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17 hours ago, Holy Ghost said:

Seems Dexter faired better than Hank in the 70's. Record deals (Steeplechase, Columbia of all places!) gigs, whereas Hank was a ghost. I'd be curious how Hank got through the 70's!

Yes, but in 1983 when I saw Dexter the last time "performing" it was clear that the end was in sight. No one would have thought that he might get through the few tunes he played on the film. 

Hank Mobley also had a drinking problem. During those last years, Max Roach once told that he wanted to invite Mobley for a drink and was a bit embarrased when Mobley insistit on a triple hard drink. I think the great Max Roach had some traumatic experiences seeing great fellow musicians killed by accidents (both Clifford Brown and Woody Shaw), or down and out like Bird, Bud, Mobley....

Max Roach also was the last person to see Woody Shaw. He had invited him to listen to a  gig he had in NY  and sent a limo to Newark to drive Woody to the gig...

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I heard there were several "come back" attempts for Hank in the 80s.  I guess this is the last (or near last) live recording?  Rusty indeed, but not bad for a man who only had one lung at this point...

 

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There was a (low key) listing for Hank in the advert for one of the early 1980s NorthSea Festivals (remember seeing it and being amazed at the time) but it never happened.

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2 hours ago, sidewinder said:

There was a (low key) listing for Hank in the advert for one of the early 1980s NorthSea Festivals (remember seeing it and being amazed at the time) but it never happened.

21 hours ago, Holy Ghost said:

Seems Dexter faired better than Hank in the 70's. Record deals (Steeplechase, Columbia of all places!) gigs, whereas Hank was a ghost. I'd be curious how Hank got through the 70's!

 

Yes I remember that. Very strange, since there was no evidence of other activities. 

I remember I was a DB subscriber until the mid 80´s and there was a narrow rubrica on the first pages titled "Big City Beat" and there was a note that "though Hank Mobley had or has some respiratory problems which impair his ability to perform, he ocasionally plays club dates in the Philly Area......,

So maybe he was not completly inactive. 

 

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A search for "Hank Mobley" on newspapers.com last June found adverts or club listings in 1980, 1981,1983 and 1986, in the NY Daily News, Philly Daily News and Philly Enquirer.

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5 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

Yes, but in 1983 when I saw Dexter the last time "performing" it was clear that the end was in sight. No one would have thought that he might get through the few tunes he played on the film. 

Hank Mobley also had a drinking problem. During those last years, Max Roach once told that he wanted to invite Mobley for a drink and was a bit embarrased when Mobley insistit on a triple hard drink. I think the great Max Roach had some traumatic experiences seeing great fellow musicians killed by accidents (both Clifford Brown and Woody Shaw), or down and out like Bird, Bud, Mobley....

Max Roach also was the last person to see Woody Shaw. He had invited him to listen to a  gig he had in NY  and sent a limo to Newark to drive Woody to the gig...

Drink and drugs were a problem in this time period. Stan Getz immediately comes to mind, who had a major drinking problem, Art Pepper, junk.  Wasn't it in Miles' autobiography, where Miles said he had dinner with Paul Chambers around 1968-9, that he downed so many Zombies that he passed out right there at the table? He was dead shortly thereafter, and if I remember from Mile's account, he was not even 30? Could be wrong as I read this nearly 30 years ago and the book is packed away in storage. Tragedies abound. Sad. 

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Mr. PC was 33 when he passed.

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2 hours ago, jazzbo said:

Mr. PC was 33 when he passed.

Still sad. A tremendous talent wasted to alcohol.  

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Not just alcohol. . . he was a heroin addict for quite some time of his short life.

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I wouldn't call his life wasted. He just didn't take care of himself. But he left a legacy. seems like he got done all he was going to get done.

Kenny Kirkland, Hiram Bullock, those lives...I don't know if they had gotten done all they were going to get done or not, but they certainly got stopped while still in peak form. One wonders if they got done everything they had in them to get done. Maybe not. But obviously they got done all they were going to get done. That's a crucial distinction, imo. 

PC, Hank, even Bird, they got it done in the time they gave themselves. I used to wonder, what if Bird had lived, what if Trane had lived, all that, and finally, yeah, what if, that's really a stupid question, because, simply put, they didn't. So it's a question with no answer. So...think about things that can be done here and now. And if that includes building on Bird, building on Trane, good, do that, think that, and good luck to you.

And please do take care of yourself!

 

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, JSngry said:

I wouldn't call his life wasted. He just didn't take care of himself. But he left a legacy. seems like he got done all he was going to get done.

Kenny Kirkland, Hiram Bullock, those lives...I don't know if they had gotten done all they were going to get done or not, but they certainly got stopped while still in peak form. One wonders if they got done everything they had in them to get done. Maybe not. But obviously they got done all they were going to get done. That's a crucial distinction, imo. 

PC, Hank, even Bird, they got it done in the time they gave themselves. I used to wonder, what if Bird had lived, what if Trane had lived, all that, and finally, yeah, what if, that's really a stupid question, because, simply put, they didn't. So it's a question with no answer. So...think about things that can be done here and now. And if that includes building on Bird, building on Trane, good, do that, think that, and good luck to you.

And please do take care of yourself!

 

I know what you mean, I didn't mean his life was a waste, what he left for us to enjoy is immeasurable, but the substance abuse cut it short was all I was saying. 

Edited by Holy Ghost

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Bird was 34 when he died...but nobody really thinks of him having a short life...time is such an odd measurement...and what does it really measure, anyway?

It seems to me that Bird had an extremely long life that took him 34 years to live. Same for Trane's not-quite 41 years.

This time thing...I don't think we know nearly as much about it as we think we do. If it has no beginning or no end, how do you assign a truly meaningful value to it? How do you do that? 

Anyway... 

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