Hank Mobley: Another Monday night at Birdland (1958) Roulette

hank-mobley-another-monday-night-at-birdland-cover-1920-ljc

Track Selection : Another Monday Night in Birdland – “Jamph”.

Artists

Lee Morgan (tp) Curtis Fuller (tb -2/4) Hank Mobley (ts) Billy Root (ts, bars) Ray Bryant (p) Tommy Bryant (b) Charles “Specs” Wright (d) recorded “Birdland”, NYC, April 21, 1958

Music

Look at that line up – how could you not want to put this on your turntable, right now? Lee Morgan Hank Mobley Curtis Fuller!!

Screen fades to black and white, calendar on the wall 1958, Monday night, start of the week, the day job over, put on your smartest suit, meet up with your friends in a bar for a beer, then join the queue outside Birdland. Not Saturday night at the London O2 to see the Four Dots on the Horizon Revival Tour, get up in your seat and shake your yaya’s, if you still can.

Roulette Records.  No gamble this one,  you have to give it a spin, a heavy vinyl deep groove, shouts 1950’s pressing quality, rarely beaten, the first Roulette original I have. Superb loud bright presentation of the brass, which is where much of the musical action takes place, if a little shy in the bass. Where is Peter Ind when you need him? Produced by one “Rudy Traylor” suspiciously similar name to Rudy VG. Given most of the artists were contracted by Blue Note, and RVG recorded many  sessions for Blue Note at Birdland,  you wonder if there is some “moonlighting” going on here?

I have what I thought was a Roulette pressing of the earlier volume “Monday Night at Birdland”. It sounded dull flat and uninteresting. If something is well recorded and mastered in the first place, the pressing can still kill it. Turned out it was a Canadian pressing – I have come across Canadian pressings before and never thought highly of them (apologies to any Canadian readers, nothing personal). Maybe the record company just bused worn out stampers over the border to save money, for a small market.

But this recording is a beast: front row seat, “dynamic stereo”, great  live atmosphere, crooked paste-up cover but great photograph.

Vinyl:  Roulette R 52022

US deep groove 1958 original stereo

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hank-mobley-another-monday-night-at-birdland-back-1920-ljc

Collector’s Corner

Follow up to the previous record,  Monday Night at Birdland

hank-mobley-monday-night-at-birdland-cover-1920-ljcPhoto’s

updated February 16, 2017

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5 thoughts on “Hank Mobley: Another Monday night at Birdland (1958) Roulette

  1. P.S. The true association involved Roulette Records and the Birdland nightclub – both were owned by the infamous Morris Levy.

  2. In truth, the labels might indicate a U.S. pressing, as well. The label fonts were what were prevalent at the time within Brooklyn, NY-based Progressive Label & Litho Co. of Brooklyn, NY, which handled Roulette on and off into the 1960’s. The mastering appears to be by Sol Kessler of Bell Sound Studios in New York. (Kessler was noted for his use of machine-stamped type in the deadwax as shown in that pic.)

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