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Roll Call (1960)

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Wynton Kelly

From the first moment when Art Blakey comes crashing in to establish a kinetic Latin groove on the eponymous opening song, Hank Mobley's Roll Call explodes with energy. The first horn heard here is actually Freddie Hubbard's trumpet, foreshadowing the prominent role that he would have in the sound of this album. The quintet all work together flawlessly here, but Hubbard particularly shines as he plays off of Mobley's fluid riffs and carries more than a few lines himself, sounding particularly athletic and effortless on the closing track, "The Breakdown." Mobley's performance throughout the recording is stylish without being restrained, and the strength of his songwriting shines on five of the album's six songs. A warm, laid-back, sweet version of "The More I See You" is also included, with a muted Hubbard sounding very much like Miles Davis. It is a nice complement to this collection of originals, which has often been overshadowed by Mobley's other late-'50s and early-'60s work but is definitely deserving of some attention of its own. ~ Stacia Proefrock