Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

345

Hank Mobley: Dippin'

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Hank Mobley spent most of 1964 banged up for drug offences. The year of the Beatles' US breakthrough, which sounded the final death knell for hard bop as a mainline music of inner city youth, happened beyond Mobley's eyes and ears. Is it too fanciful to suppose he barely noticed it happening?

Probably yes. But it would explain the headlong vigour and take-no-prisoners confidence of 1965's Dippin'. The album starts with an explosive, declarative drum roll from Billy Higgins before charging straight into the sanctified up-tempo funk of "The Dip," and thereafter only cools the temperature once, for the porcelain ballad "I See Your Face Before Me."

The core of the album is four blues-based Mobley originals. The stone killer is the almost-title track, "The Dip," its torrid, down-home main theme set off by a catchy, almost Brill Building, bridge with some clever harmonic inventions. The tune launches hot and lyrical solos from Mobley and Lee Morgan, over righteous two-handed vamping from Harold Mabern, Jr., echoing Barry Harris' work on Morgan's "The Sidewinder."

Djalma Ferreiro's "Recado Bossa Nova," which follows, is almost as good. The tune, an up-tempo samba—which had been introduced to jazz audiences by Zoot Sims in 1962, during the early days of the bossa nova craze—sounds attractively anachronistic today, and it's easy to imagine it as the theme song to some European rom com of the time, probably featuring Audrey Hepburn and set amongst the moneyed elite on the French Riviera. Mobley and Morgan again deliver top drawer solos in which funk coexists comfortably with melodic invention.

"The Break Through" and "The Vamp" are good too, but a shade paler by comparison (although on the latter, Mabern and Higgins generate some interesting conversational heat between them). Schwartz and Deitz's pretty "I See Your Face Before Me" includes a lovely muted trumpet solo (from which Morgan, happily, is unable totally to expunge his blues retentions). "Ballin'," which closes, is standard-issue fast hard bop, fun but hardly memorable.

Dippin' isn't one of Mobley's all-time greatest albums, but a solid one with a couple of fist-sized gold nuggets, and here in a deserved RVG remaster edition.


Track Listing: The Dip; Recado Bossa Nova; The Break Through; The Vamp; I See Your Face Before Me; Ballin'.

Personnel: Hank Mobley: tenor saxophone; Lee Morgan: trumpet; Harold Mabern Jr: piano; Larry Ridley: bass; Billy Higgins: drums.

Title: Dippin' | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Common Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Common Ground
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "The Wrong Waltz" CD/LP/Track Review The Wrong Waltz
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "New Chapter" CD/LP/Track Review New Chapter
by Jim Olin
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Najwa" CD/LP/Track Review Najwa
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 7, 2017
Read "In The Shadow Of A Cloud" CD/LP/Track Review In The Shadow Of A Cloud
by John Kelman
Published: August 14, 2017