Hank Mobley’s conclusion to his long and storied association with Blue Note Records has finally made it to CD through the label’s Connoisseur series. Thinking of Home
, which was recorded on the last day of July in 1970 but not made available until ten years later, shows that the tenor saxophonist was still building on his trademark hard-bop style. A three-part suite that opens the album features Mobley dabbling with long-form composition and “Justine” has him providing a stimulating framework for his sidemen to navigate.
Teaming with Mobley in the front-line is Woody Shaw, whose trumpet bursts forth with brash ideas and an endless stream of notes. Mobley is equally inspired and turns in some of his most intriguing work on the obligatory boogaloo track, “Talk About Gittin’ It.” Unheralded guitarist Eddie Diehl and long-time Mobley associate Cedar Walton also get solo space, but make no mistake, Shaw and Mobley are the stars here.
It’s worth noting that Mobley would only record one more album, a 1972 offering with Walton, before disappearing from the jazz scene. Thinking of Home serves as another reminder of Mobley’s contributions to jazz as both a soloist and composer.
Personnel: Hank Mobley - tenor saxophone; Woody Shaw - trumpet; Eddie Diehl -
guitar; Cedar Walton - piano; Mickey Bass - bass; Leroy Williams - drums