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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Album By An Often Overlooked Sax Player, Aug. 6 2006
By 
Mark Anderson (Victoria, BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Soul Station (Audio CD)
Some of the other reviewers have written at length about what a

great recording this is. They're right, so I won't spend any time

repeating the same basic points that have already been made.

Bottom line: great album. If you like 1950s/early 1960s jazz, then buy this CD. You won't be disappointed. You might also want

to try Mobley's Workout CD, recorded in 1961.

One previous reviewer mentioned the excellent sound quality on this CD. Good point, so I'll add another comment about it. The album was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder. Anything Van Gelder recorded had excellent sound. Period.

As an anecdote of how good Van Gelder's sound quality is, I was recently in a local specialty audio equipment store and, as I was drooling over some high end audio gear, I got into a conversation about jazz with the owner. He wanted to get some jazz CDs to demo equipment but didn't know much about jazz. I told him about Blue Note Records and mentioned the quality of Rudy Van Gelder's recordings. That picqued his interest and he asked if could bring in a few CDs for him to listen to.

The next day I brought in 2 Van Gelder recordings: Hank Mobley's Soul Station (recorded in 1960) and Charles Earland's "Cookin With The Mighty Burner" (recorded in 1997). Suffice to say that this audiophile equipment store now uses both recordings to demo high end audio equipment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff, Aug. 29 2002
By 
C. Devine (California, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Soul Station (Audio CD)
If you're like me, you've heard Mobley play on many different albums and with many different musicians: "Walkin'" with Miles Friday Night at the Blackhawk, "Doodlin'" with Horace Silver & the Jazz Messengers, Etc. (If you don't have those albums, you best be warming up your credit card!) I'd heard of the Soul Station album previously, but avoided it because I worried it would be too far towards the "soul jazz" movement side of things. Maybe a little too pop oriented like some (not all!) of the soul-jazz albums seemed to be. Because I've never heard any music come from Mobley's horn that wasn't genuine, I bit the bullet and bought this album - I was NOT disappointed. If you haven't bought this album yet, all I can say is "wait no longer" If you liked Mobley on Walkin' and Doodlin', you will flip over this album. His playing is superb, honest, creative, and no BS. Further, listening to Wynton Kelly's solos, as well as his playing behind Hank, are reason enough to buy the album. Throw in Art Blakey and Paul Chambers, and I'm done talking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars relaxed and inspired jazz, Aug. 19 2002
By 
nadav haber (jerusalem Israel) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Soul Station (Audio CD)
This CD received 5 stars from all reviewers - a very rare achievement. The reason this music has not attracted any detractors is that it is unpretensious, swinging, and mellow.
Take for example the third track - "Dig Dis". It is a medium tempo blues played as "straight" as you can get, with the emphasis on sound and swing and not on altered scales, modes or other theoretical devices. It is a blues content with its simplicity. Winton Kelly's opening piano chorus is as good as blues piano gets, and Mobley's theme and solos follow with so much sureness and ease, that infect the listener with the joyous feeling that to me always comes with good blues. Of special interest is Mobley's unaccompanied break that follows the theme. It is two choruses long, and shows Mobley's inventiveness and control to the fullest.
This is not a ground breaking CD, or an experimental attempt at something new. This is music by great musicians who play how they love to play.
I think that a big part of this record's success is the combination of Art Blakey with Winton Kelly and Paul Chambers. These three obviously enjoy playing together, and they create the carpet on which Mobley can lay down his stuff to the maximum.
Kelly's solos on all tracks are wonderful and I believe that a lot of the credit for the music's great mood is due to him.
If I could select a band I would like to go and hear in a jazz club, this band would have been one of my first choices. If I were only that lucky !
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Album By An Often Overlooked Artist, May 9 2002
By 
Micheal (Victoria, BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Soul Station (Audio CD)
Some of the other reviewers have written at length about what a
great recording this is. They're right, so I won't spend any time
repeating the same basic points that have already been made.
Bottom line: great album. If you like 1950s/early 1960s jazz, then buy this CD. You won't be disappointed. You might also want
to try Mobley's Workout CD, recorded in 1961.
One previous reviewer mentioned the excellent sound quality on this CD. Good point, so I'll add another comment about it. The album was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder. Anything Van Gelder recorded had excellent sound. Period.
As an anecdote of how good Van Gelder's sound quality is, I was recently in a local specialty audio equipment store and, as I was drooling over some high end audio gear, I got into a conversation about jazz with the owner. He wanted to get some jazz CDs to demo equipment but didn't know much about jazz. I told him about Blue Note Records and mentioned the quality of Rudy Van Gelder's recordings. That picqued his interest and he asked if could bring in a few CDs for him to listen to.
The next day I brought in 2 Van Gelder recordings: Hank Mobley's Soul Station (recorded in 1960) and Charles Earland's "Cookin With The Mighty Burner" (recorded in 1997). Suffice to say that this audiophile equipment store now uses both recordings to demo high end audio equipment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A minor classic, Feb. 21 2002
By 
N. Dorward "obsessive reviewer" (Toronto, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Soul Station (Audio CD)
I got this a few years ago (in an earlier remastering) & it took a while to grow on me. Mobley is one of those players who despite not having an especially large place in the history of the music has earned the affection of a lot of fans of the classic Blue Note sound of the 1960s--his albums are often rabidly sought after by aficionados. Listening to him at first I was immediately struck by his lovely tone, an elegant & loamy sound that comes out of Lester Young but is unmistakably his own. Mobley's lines are not subtle, however: what bothered me the first few times in listening to him was that his solos were largely constructed out of licks assembled in an obvious manner--in a 8-bar sequence of ii7-V7 chords, expect him most of the time to apply the same lick, transposed, to each two-bar section. On the last track, "If I Should Lose You", the second A section predictably enough prompts the "Habanera" from _Carmen_, one of the most hackneyed of bop quotes; next time the A section comes around, he actually plays the intro to Gillespie's "Bebop". You get the idea--it's what jazz musicians call "running changes", & while every jazz musician has to be able to do it, it's not usually considered good form to let it too obviously dictate the shape of solos.
So why 5 stars? Well, this all goes to show that if you transcribe the notes of a solo, you often miss everything that makes it worth listening to. Mobley's sound & relaxed, nuanced sense of time make even an ordinary line into something engaging & satisfying. He is a remarkably songful, tuneful player, which is the flip side of his reliance on comfortable melodic contours: he knows how to inform them with personality & interpretive depth. He also benefits from an excellent rhythm section. Wynton Kelly's piano is characteristically chipper & spry; Paul Chambers is as always unimpeachable; & Art Blakey is an excellent choice, playing much more quietly here than with the Messengers but with no less alertness & appositeness.
Mobley isn't usually thought of as a significant composer (one notable exception is John Zorn, who once recorded a pile of Mobley tunes on _More News for Lulu_). His 4 tunes here aren't on the surface very sophisticated, but they have much of the warmth of his playing. They either use blues structures, or use a favourite two-part structure one often finds in hard-bop compositions of this vintage--a suspended "A" section & a conventionally-moving "B" ("release") section. There are also two readings of standards, both done at a tempo slightly faster than usual: "Remember" & "If I Should Lose You".
All in all, this is a very fine album which exactly captures the virtues of Blue Note's house style in 1960. There were more important albums recorded that year but surely none quite so appealing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked Magnificence, Sept. 7 2001
By 
Caponsacchi (Kenosha,, WI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Soul Station (Audio CD)
Hank Mobley is one of the most prolifically recorded instrumentalists in the history of jazz, mostly as a side-man with the likes of Art Blakey, Horace Silver, and Miles Davis. Yet seldom does his name arise in discussions of the great tenor players. In some respects, the oversight is understandable. He did not approach music with an agenda, a persona, a gimmick or any sort of extra-musical purpose. His tone is warm, exquisitely "natural" and soulful--not husky, penetrating, or dipped in excess testerone. I'm not sure about his background, but if there's any such thing as a natural, "born" musician it's Mobs. He's perhaps the most "reactive" player the music has known. There are tenor players who construct solos out of more or less "set" phrases or formulae (Sonny Stitt); who deliberately create harmonic complexity (Coltrane) or test the limits of a single motif (Rollins). But Mobs is a player who simply takes what he's given--he hears the chord change and reacts to it. And his responses are invariably fresh, lyrical, ceaselessly stirring and surprising in their sheer melodic inventiveness. Listen to his solo on "Bye Bye Blackbird" on Miles Davis' "Live at the Blackhawk" if you want to hear improvisation at its very best. The man may have had great technique. The point is that his musical imagination was of an order that didn't require it. The melody just pours out his horn with such inspiration that the familiar arsenal in most tenors' repertoires--the top tones, harmonics, alternate fingurings, wobbles and other articulations--is completely beside the point in a Mobley solo.
In 1961-62 Blue Note had the foresight to record Mobley as leader on 4 priceless albums. "Soul Station" is my favorite of the four because he doesn't have to share solo time with another horn and because the tunes, Irving Berlin's sentimental old chestnut, "Remember," as well as Mobley originals, push him to draw deeply upon that inexhaustible reservoir of lyrical emotion and melodic invention. When I heard Mobs in the seventies, he was a mere shadow of his former self. There were rumors that his horn had been stolen, that he was playing "leaky" borrowed instruments he couldn't afford to have repaired, that both his chops and mind were totally wasted. It's a story played out all too frequently with so many of the greats--Lester, Ben, Hawk. All the more reason not only to own a recording such as this but to be its responsible custodian for future generations who have not lost the capacity to hear.
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5.0 out of 5 stars this one cooks!, June 16 2000
By 
Rob Watkins (Augusta, Georgia United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Soul Station (Audio CD)
mr. mobley was a prolific artist for blue note turning out a myriad of albums, some good, others not (at times it seemed he got bored). this is one of the best. backed by wynton kelly, paul chambers, and art blakey, mr. mobley is focused, bluesy, and hard swinging. the opening three tracks are worth the price of admission alone. 'remember' sets the groove, and 'this i dig...' and 'dig dis' keep it going. if you're not wiggling your hips by the time these three tracks are done, you may need to check your pulse. this is hard bop at its best, blending the beat of r-n-b with the swing and drive of classic jazz. the solos are outstanding and the rhythm section's time impeccable (and you've got to love art blakey's rim shots that keep the fire stoked). the second half of the album settles into the blue note sound: solid modern jazz with be-bop edginess. 'split feelin's'is a classic. the title track returns to the groove, and the album closes out with a solid ballad. all in all, a very satisfying session from one of the best of blue note's tenor men.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic, Dec 4 2000
By 
Amazon Customer "jazzfanmn" (St Cloud, MN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Soul Station (Audio CD)
Soul Station is one of the best, if not the best session lead by tenor Hank Mobley. Backing Mobley are, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Art Blakey on drums. This high powered quartet digs into the material, producing an album packed with outstanding performances. Mobley is at the height of his powers, his tone is not as hard as Rollins or Coltrane or as light as Getz or Young, but he plays with confidence and a powerful sense of swing throughout. Propelled by the volcanic drumming of Blakey, the musicians all contribute hard swinging solos. The laid back "Remember", "This I Dig of You", and the mellow funk of "Dig Dis" all produce flowing grooves you find yourself whistleing after the disc is over. Along with Mobley's "Workout", this cd is an absolute must have. Recommened.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hank's soul food!, Aug. 27 2002
This review is from: Soul Station (Audio CD)
Listening to this warm, rich cd is like enjoying a hot chocolate on a cold winter night, or like watching the sun set over the city. This disc evokes many emotions from me. It literally feels 'warm' to me. Not that this music is sappy or lounge-like. Not at all. This stuff swings. It simmers. It bubbles over. There is an infectious quality to "Remember", "This I Dig of You", and "Dig Dis" especially. "Split Feelin's" really chugs along with enthusiasm and light spirit. The title track is great and "If I Should Lose You" displays a tender quality to Mobley's horn playing that reminds me somewhat of Dexter Gordon in his more introspective moments. This is one of the best hard-bop era recordings. Period. It's not called a classic for no reason...
ESSENTIAL.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A jazz classic from 1960, April 5 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Soul Station (Audio CD)
Recorded in 1960, this CD really cooks. The quartet gives Mobley a chance to stretch out instead of having to compete with a trumpet player- you can really hear him lay out some nice solos on this album. The band is top notch, with Art Blakey on drums instead of the usual session drummer (Philly Joe Jones). This is just a great session, an essential jazz CD, and the sound quality is excellent. At the time of this recording, the other band members here (Wynton Kelly on piano and Paul Chambers on bass) were part of Miles Davis's group, and were loaned out for this session.
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Soul Station by Hank Mobley (Audio CD - 1999)
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