'Dig dis' Hank Mobley (Soul Station, Blue Note Records, 1960)

Initial readings about Hank Mobley require you to unpick the grudging praise and repetition of assessments that inevitably see Mobley in comparison to other better-known, better-appreciated musicians from his era; a shame, I think as his work is easy to get and appreciate on its own terms. Take this track above, 'Dig dis', for instance, from the fabulous Soul Station ...

The precision of it, the cutting of notes - no need to embellish, or extend or breathe all over it as an imprint of the self - this music is perfect for anyone feeling down (considering the state of the universe) as an expression of pure confidence, distilled.

I especially like the clarity of it, there is no need to intellectualise anything here, it's melodic and easy to connect with; for the way the musicians work together, forever producing a perfect whole. 

Have a look at this fantastic interview with Mobley from Downbeat, 1973 where he talks about his work with the quintessential roll-call of all the musical jazz gods and his experience being in Paris during the '68 student revolution. 

Soon as I got there they had the fight at the Sorbonne. The whole city was on strike; you couldn’t get a taxi, you couldn’t get nowhere. The train left me way out in the desert, it seemed, and I had to work at the Chat qui Peche that same night. Slide Hampton’s niece, I think, came to pick me up, finally. People going around with rifles, all that kind of stuff. I said, ‘I didn’t have to go 4,000 miles! I saw all this at home.’ I checked into the hotel and just stayed there and looked out the window.