Hank Mobley “Workout” (1961)

Track Selection 1. Smokin’

Track Selection 2. Greasin’ Easy

Artists

Hank Mobley (ts) Wynton Kelly (p) Grant Green (g) Paul Chambers (b) Philly Joe Jones (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 26, 1961

Music

Here is one articulate and perceptive comment on another blog which posted links to this Mobley album (with accompanying Rapidshare and Mediafire download links, of course. What it takes to be popular)

Well there you have it in a nutshell: “better than the fuckin wack new shit“. Nicely put, Maxime from France. Hope all you jazz fans out there are taking note, enriching your jazz vocabulary. I’ve just started reading Miles Davis biography, and every third word is mothersomething. May be I need to spice up the blog with a little more foul language, increase my credibility among jazz afficionados.

What more can I say? Well plenty.  For a start, it’s a great album, with four original Mobley compositions and just one standard.The penny  finally dropped about royalties. Second, a friend described this as one of the best Grant Green albums he has ever heard. There’s more than a little truth in that. Grant was on top of his game, around  the time of Idle Moments, the best Joe Henderson and Bobby Hutcherson album I have ever heard. Green’s presence is significant, and his fluent linear solos are a delight, and all the better for having Hank around to keep it grounded, with earthy tenor lead lines and long acrobatic excursions and flourishes.Wynton Kelly stong chordal presence and elegant solos also contributes variety and texture. A cracker.

What’s not to like? Nothin’, now what i’m sayin ? By Jove, I think I’m getting the hang of  jazz talk, you mothersomethings!

Vinyl: Blue Note BN 4080

First pressing, on mixed NY labels (side 1)  47W63rd (side 2)  labels, as per Popsike, mono 1st pressing 1961, no DG. Laminated cover, original inner sleeve “finest in jazz” – no year.

It’s a smoking record alright. On the cover, Hank’s having a smoke (can’t make out the brand on the packet) and what may be a bottle of coke (can’t make out the brand) on the bottle. All that product placement opportunity wasted. But a great cover none the less.

Collectors Corner:

Source: eBay                                                                                                           Sellers Grading: BLP 4080 1st press / RVG /ear / different label addresses / mono    First pressing , as indicated by the different label addresses, which were present on all first pressings of this album ;   the subsequent 1963 reissue would have the NEW YORK USA address on BOTH labels.  BLP 4080 was the LAST Blue Note LP to have a 47 w 63rd label; all first copies have this one one side

Great in the room presence and enduring audio quality! Both sides of the vinyl are in excellent condition, with few marks.   There are a couple of slight non-feelable and non-audible minor  surface marks on Side 1, which do not affect  play.  Both sides of the vinyl play very nicely throughout, thanks to the combination of heavy-duty vinyl and superior Rudy Van Gelder mastering.  Virtually no extraneous surface noise, just the occasional very light crackle in the very quietest passages, and no jumps or scratches.

Collectors Coronary

No it’s not a misprint. Coronary. You read it right. Competition time! Run you eye over this auction that closed last week and see if you can spot anything interesting (double click picture for full screen) Remember, this is an LJC record collector’s intelligence test. Marks will be awarded for all correct answers, including spelling your own name correctly, and getting todays date right.. And as in most walks of life today, cheats will almost certainly prosper.

If you need a little help here’s a clue (right).

The first item of note is the eye-watering price, just over a thousand dollars. Admittedly it is “near mint”, but that is some premium. The second… – no, you got it straight away. New York label both sides. Not the first pressing, though the seller carefully avoids suggesting it is. Strangely the first pressing is mixed labels, not the other way around comme d’habitude. – this weeks touch of French sophistication – “as is usual” – (until Claude from Clichy writes in to correct me. Endearing trait of the French, interrupting you mid-sentence to correct any mis-speak)

Ten bidders chasing a near mint copy, pushing the price way up.So much for the wisdom of crowds.  May be it’s the “Beautiful!” We would all like our records to be beautiful, wouldn’t we? And the fetish for virgin-status, no spindle marks, unsullied by any previous owner. You wonder if the new owner will play it, or just look at it too. At least its a great cover to look at. But some price ticket.

The record collector exam question is: would you pay a thousand dollars for a 1963 second pressing of this record: Yes or No.

Time is up. Stop writing and hand in your answers to the LJC invigilator. You may leave in an orderly fashion. Please be aware this is a non-smirking post. Strictly no smirking, until you have reached a designated smirking area.

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15 thoughts on “Hank Mobley “Workout” (1961)

  1. Hello again there, always good chat, this is one of the best sites for trainspotting jazz heads. Just a note about the stereo pressing of Workout – thats a fact it didnt come out with the split label difference? But it was pressed with the double P in the deadwax as a heavier Plastylite stereo, is that at the same time as the mono pressing? Cheers!

    • Intriguing. Appreciate photos of this double 63rd label. Conventional wisdom says 1st press has mixed sides, but there must have been pairs of 63rds printed in the first place as well as NY pairs, in order for mixed to exist. Another bad day at Plastylite?

      • Sorry, it’s in the hands of a collector with whom I’m trading it for 5 lps of lesser value. The subtle magic of my original Blue Notes is spoiling me. A lot of us were outsourced in 2000, so we have to settle for heavy, virgin vinyl reissues. We’re fortunate to be near NY and have jazz greats visiting as well as teaching at our local university, including Jackie McLean, RIP.

  2. BTW I had a long discussion with a swedish ebay seller about a NYC labelled pressing of this LP. NYC on both sides but no “P” and my conclusion was that the LP was indeed not a first but a third pressing about 1966. He agreed and the LP was correctly listed on ebay (he just did not mention any P and did not state is as a first pressing) and the LP sold for about $200……

    • Those first wave of Blue Note reissues by Liberty in 1966 are crackers.I have around ten of them in full NY livery but missing the ear, and for my money they sound every bit as good as the original NY. You can’t hear the missing ear. I believe they were pressed by All Disc Records, Roselle, NJ, a plant that Liberty purchased at the same time as Blue Note. By the time Liberty got their act together, Divison of Liberty, things had gone down hill big time. You never know with prices as there are always niaeve bidders not picking up on the ear not mentioned, but on the whole I agree they are a bargain, for all the right reasons.

  3. 1K is a bit much. But if I had unlimited cash and just wanted a NM copy RIGHT NOW so why not. And at least two bidders wer in the 1K range. The sound quality is probably about the same to what is considered a genuine 1st pressing. I think the “P” makes all the difference.

  4. Oooh. La la. 1k is waayy to much, even for a first pressing, which according to cohen is W63i on S1, NYC on S2… although he does go on to mention it may exist with W63i on both sides, although this is unconfirmed and that it does exist with W63i on side 2 liek your copy (but without the P!).

    Moral of the story: there is a first pressing for everyone! Just not the NYC on both sides auction mentioned above. Ouch! 1 fucking K. Thats a lotta spaghetti.

  5. Too many exclamation marks for me, I don’t like to be told when to be excited, so it’s ‘nulle pointes’ from France. Back to LJC in the studio for the Bosnia and Herzegovina results…

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