Hank Mobley in Downbeat August 17, 1973

HankMobleyToday would have been the great Hank Mobley‘s 84th birthday. One of the truly underrated musicians in the history of jazz, the tenor saxophonist talked with Downbeat in the summer of 1973 about coming to New York, Horace Silver, Miles, Don Byas, and just about everything and everyone else in the 50s and 60s jazz scene. From the interview:

“To the best of my knowledge, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, myself, Jimmy Heath, John Coltrane, we called ourselves the ‘Five Brothers’, you know, the five black brothers. We all started playing alto, but Charlie Parker was such a monster that we all gave up and switched to tenor. I wasn’t creating anything new, I was just part of a clique. When we listened to Fats Navarro and Bud Powell, we were 20, 21, all of us were learning together. We weren’t trying to surpass Parker or the heavyweights. But as you get older you start finding different directions. At the time it was like going to college. It was just doing our thing. playing different changes, experimenting.

Click here to read Hank Mobley in Downbeat August 17, 1973

—Peter Blasevick