Slice Of The Top – Hank Mobley
A modal song with a Latin groove, classic later Mobley. Though originally recorded as a five-horn arrangement, it works equally well with two horns, one horn or a trio..
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- Recording: Hank Mobley - A Slice Of The Top
- Recorded on: March 18, 1966
- Label: Blue Note/Liberty (LT 995)
- Concert Key: C
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Latin (medium)
- Trumpet - Lee Morgan
- Euphonium - Kiane Zawadi
- Tuba - Howard Johnson
- Alto Sax - James Spaulding
- Tenor Sax - Hank Mobley
- Piano - McCoy Tyner
- Bass - Bob Cranshaw
- Drums - Billy Higgins
This song is built around a two-measure vamp with a Latin groove, alternating Cmaj7 with a sus-like chord created by raising E and B (the 3rd and 7th) to F and C. The A section melody, played in harmony by trumpet and tenor sax on the recording while the other horns vamp, focuses on the 7th and adds a CMaj7(♯11) (Lydian) tonality. This creates a unique rub between F♯ and F♮ in the second and sixth measures. The bridge goes to a swing feel, with rhythmic figures for an ascending series of II-Vs.
The form of the head is AABBCC, with the C section (same as the A section) repeated twice. The solo form, however, is AABC. There is an 8-measure intro on the vamp that is also used to set up the out head. This recording fades out before the end of the out head; we've added a coda with a vamp and fade that leads to a final chord.
"A Slice Of The Top" was the only full album Hank Mobley recorded as a leader in 1966. Three months after this, he recorded three songs later issued on the album "Straight No Filter" with the same personnel minus James Spaulding, Kiane Zawadi, and Howard Johnson. The last of Hank's three 1965 albums, "A Caddy For Daddy," also featured Lee Morgan, McCoy Tyner, Bob Cranshaw, and Billy Higgins as well as trombonist Curtis Fuller.
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...