50 Jazz Blues Licks is an exclusive series of video
Back to Hank Mobley this week, and another lick that works over a 24-bar blues with a straight-eighth feel. With plenty of time on each chord of the turnaround, this lick takes the idea of the bebop dominant 7th scale to its logical conclusion, descending for a full-octave over the V chord and partway into the IV before climbing back up the scale and landing on some blues moves at the return to the I. It’s as good a metaphor as any for Mobley’s general outlook: nimble execution of the changes, shot through with blues sensibilities, and all of it cleverly folded into some kind of twist or another on the usual forms and progressions. But then, what did you expect of someone who started his recording career with Art Blakey and Horace Silver, made albums with the likes of Lee Morgan and Wynton Kelly, and released LPs with titles like “No Room For Squares” and “A Caddy For Daddy”? While you won’t stumble across Mobley on anything as overtly downhome as an organ combo record, for a guy brainy enough to fill in for Coltrane in the Miles Davis quintet in 1961, he’s one soulful individual.
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