High Modes – Hank Mobley
The announcer at Birdland the night this composition was recorded introduced it as a "really cool one"—an apt description for this mysterious laid-back head.
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- Recording: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - Meet You At The Jazz Corner Of The World, Vol. 2
- Recorded on: September 14, 1960
- Label: Blue Note (BLP 4055)
- Concert Key: D minor
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Swing (medium)
- Trumpet - Lee Morgan
- Tenor Sax - Wayne Shorter
- Piano - Bobby Timmons
- Bass - Jymie Merritt
- Drums - Art Blakey
You'll notice from our audio excerpt that Blakey switches to sticks for the bridge with one of his classic press rolls. The last two measures of the bridge have a 2-feel, allowing Art to switch back to mallets for the last eight measures of this 32-bar AABA form. In the last measure of the melody Blakey again switches to sticks with a press roll. The bass walks the entire solo section. After the solos it's Dal Capo (back to the top), with Blakey switching back to mallets and a repeat of the whole melody. The bass figure is also used for the ending. An interesting and dramatic composition.
The C treble clef lead sheet is ideal for all rhythm section players. There's also a Basic Bass part so inexperienced bassists can play along with the recording. See the Bass Corner tab for more information.
Hank Mobley's last recording as a Jazz Messenger was also done live at Birdland, in the previous year (April 15, 1959). That engagement yielded two albums that were titled "Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers At The Jazz Corner Of The World, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2."
Art Blakey loved Hank's writing. Hank continued to contribute to the Messengers' recorded repertoire after leaving the band. In 1960, Blakey recorded as a sideman on Hank's two classic leader sessions, "Soul Station" and "Roll Call." High Modes was recorded between those two classic Mobley dates.
This is a perfect opportunity to play alongside master bassist Jymie Merritt, to get in the groove and lock in with rhythm section masters Art Blakey and Bobby Timmons. After you've mastered our Basic Bass part, it's recommended that you spend some time listening to how Jymie adds to and alters his walking lines to the in and out melody bridges. Jymie Merritt was the glue that kept several incarnations of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers together for many years. You can learn a lot from him!
July 7, 1930 – May 30, 1986
Hank Mobley is one of the most acclaimed tenor saxophonists in modern jazz history. He is recognized by musicians and critics alike as one of the most important and eloquent jazz instrumentalists of all time. He recorded well over 100 of his own original compositions and left an indelible mark on the post-bop jazz scene. Read more...