Hank Mobley: No Room For Squares


No Room For Squares


Hank Mobley (tenor sax)


No Room For Squares (Blue Note 72435245392)

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Hank Mobley (tenor sax), Lee Morgan (trumpet), Andrew Hill (piano), John Ore (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums).

Composed by Hank Mobley


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, October 2, 1963


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

No Room for Squares is comprised of two ’63 sessions that both feature the definitive hard-bop styling of Hank Mobley and Philly Joe Jones. The first date finds the two working with bassist Butch Warren, trumpeter Donald Byrd and pianist Herbie Hancock – sensible pairings due to Mobley’s appearance on Byrd’s A New Perspective and Hancock’s My Point of View around the same time as the earlier March date. Six months later, on October 2nd, John Ore, Lee Morgan, and Andrew Hill replaced Warren, Byrd, and Hancock, and while the whole album is a worthwhile listen, there’s a particular spark on the tracks from the second session, highlighted by this title track.

Mobley’s brief opening solo is filled with quick bursts rather than extended lines, yielding a roving, investigational statement. Lee Morgan’s high-risk, high-reward storytelling on “No Room for Squares” is trumpet solo construction of the very highest order – the highlight of the track if not the entire album. Andrew Hill intriguingly dials it back here and delivers simple, dark Tyner-with-a-twist harmonic clusters until he explodes into a super-motivic solo. Listening to Hill and Hancock back-to-back makes for a pretty fascinating study in two players who share similar harmonic proclivities but execute their ideas with quite different rhythmic outputs. Finalized by Jones’ thunderous bombs while trading fours with the rest of the band, this track presents hard-bop highlights at every angle.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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  • 1 0re0 // Jun 17, 2009 at 02:12 AM
    Yes!!! One of my favorite tracks...I play this for my jazz history course, and it KILLS. I like the Alt. Take, too...