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The Flip (1969)


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Hank Mobley

While not as groundbreaking as A Caddy For Daddy, Dippin' or Soul Station, Flip is nonetheless a solid hard groove date for Mobley, who wrote all five of its selections. Flip is Mobley's second-to-last date, and he cut the session in a Paris studio with trombonist Slide Hampton, trumpeter Dizzy Reece, pianist Vince Benedetti, Philly Joe Jones on drums, and a young French bassist named Alby Cullaz. All but Cullaz and Reece were expatriated Americans. (Reece came to Paris from New York, but is Jamaican). The title track opens the set and it lays deep in the soul-jazz cut, tempered by hard bop sensibilities: the solos by Reece, Hampton, and Mobley are top-notch, but it is Benedetti's muscular comping and blues-wailing piano that drives the tune. "Feelin Folksy," means in an African way, with its beautifully crafted and lively minor key melody that touches upon South African township musics and the lyrical harmonic assertions put forth by Abdullah Ibrahim (then known as Dollar Brand). But the personality of the tune, with its gloriously bluesy swing, is all Mobley. The head features all three horns in striated harmony, playing the section with long, loping notes that get shorter as they dissolve into the solos. "Snappin Out," with its Brazilian samba-derived rhythm, is a knotty groover full of loping changes and a killer Slide Hampton solo. But the choruses are pure Mobley fire. In all, Flip is a very worthwhile side to add to the Mobley shelf. But hurry, being part of the Blue Note Connoisseur series with its fantastic sonic reproduction has its downside -- titles featured in it go out of print quickly -- even if they deserve to be continually available. ~ Thom Jurek