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Yair Dagan has posted an interview that Mobley did circa 1970-71 on the Hank Mobley Facebook page. It’s a panel of three photo scans... I’ll try to post them here as well.  Here’s the introduction to the post:

Here is a real "gem" I dug out: quite long interview with Mobley by Jan Byrczek in the English edition of the Polish Jazz Forum Magazine. There are very few published interviews with Mobley in existence (As a matter of fact, I was familiar with only two: John Litweiler's in Downbeat from 1973 being the longest and having the most details on his life, and The Melody Maker's Val Wilmer interview from 1968  while Mobley was in London). Mobley's interview with Jazz Forum came out in the second quarterly publication in 1970 (Issue no. 8 pp. 83-85). It is part of a series of interviews with American musicians that made their home in Europe (The photograph is a cut-out from a Jacques Bisceglia photo of Hank Mobley taken in Paris, April 15 1969).

The paragraph I liked best is about Mobley's time with Miles: "It was great - I got along with him the best and worked the longest: three years…….I had a lot of fun with Miles because the group only changed once during the three years. We had J.J. Johnson, Miles Davis and myself, at the front line and the rhythm section was Winton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Philly Jo Jones - you cannot beat that, six musicians and all pros, we had to stop the excitement wherever we went". 

But the most surprising fact, and this comes "straight from the horse's mouth", is: "I have an 8-year old son with my ex-wife who's in the states".  From various other sources I learned that Mobley did not marry till the early 70's (when he married Arlene Lissner). In his article "Requiem for a Blue Note Heavyweight", Steve Bloom states that "Mobley had no sibling and never married or had any children of his own" . So, is there somewhere a man in his late 50's carrying Hank Mobley's genes? This question, it seems, will remain open.





Edited by ghost of miles
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Thank you so much for sharing this great interview with us.

I´ve read from another source I think, that Hank talked in a very positive manner about his time with Miles. Not like others who said Miles did not like Hank´s playing. I like very much Hank´s playing on that live double album "Black Hawk" I think......

It´s interesting that Hank at that time (1970) said he had no plans to go back home, while he must have been back in July 1970 when he recorded his last BN album.

Though many say the romantic thing about Americans in Europe (jazz musicians) I think it was not only happy experiences, it must have been hard to check out in which city you might get a gig, and then play with local rhythm sections. I think Dexter told it in a very significant manner that he said "you always have the role of a teacher, you have to tell them how to play". Sure there was very good players also, like let´s say George Avanitas Trio, Pierre Michelot, Nils Henning, Alex Riel, Tubby Hayes, Stan Tracey, Tony Crombie and so on.

I was very surprised Hank mentiond Cracow, but that´s really a fancy old town and it seems that Hank enjoyed places like that. He also did Hungary I heard, and above all, I didn´t know he played in my hometown Vienna also. I would have liked to know where he did play then, and with whom, but I think most people I could have asked are gone now. In the sixties I was a kid and became interested in jazz not earlier than in the 70´s, so this was after Hank was in Vienna......

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On 28.5.2019 at 0:27 PM, Dan Gould said:

There seems to be two pieces of received wisdom about Hank, both established a long time after the fact:

Miles hated him;

If it is true, it's something to hate Miles for.

Edited by mikeweil
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I´m not so sure if Miles really "hated" him, but look, that period when Hank was with Miles, was kind of a period of transition for Miles, he didn´t know for a while in what direction to go. He had behind him the first classic quintet, the sextet with Trane and Cannonball, the three albums with Gil Evans, the great achievement of "Kind of Blue" and the collaboration with Bill Evans, so the early 60´s was a time of more conventional stuff without risking nothing. So maybe Miles "hated" to look back at that period more than he personally "hated" Hank Mobley.

Another thing: There are not many photos of Hank Mobley from later years. Once I saw a photo of him with a hat and grey beard, and maybe this was after he returned to the states? And one little photo of him on the Tete Montoliu album, but there I really had difficulties to recognice him, he looks so old.

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I honestly feel that Miles made musical excuses to stand in for his real, more personal, extra-musical reasons and feelings. In this case I think it may have been that Hank was using, and Miles may have had a hard time with that, or felt very superior as he had kicked that can down the road.

Edited by jazzbo
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Wasn´t almost everybody else in the band also using ?  Paul Chambers I think was a live long user.

If Miles really had kicked the habit totally (wich I doubt I think he had a livelong affair with harmful stuff), at least his first quintet was only junkies and I don´t think he felt superior of them or they felt inferior or things like that.

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