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Reach Out!
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Woody Shaw (trumpet, flugelhorn); Lamont Johnson (piano); George Benson (guitar); Bob Cranshaw (bass); Billy Higgins (drums).
  • Recorded at the Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on January 19, 1968. Includes liner notes by Nat Hentoff.
  • Digitally remastered using 20-bit technology by Ron McMaster.
  • Personnel: Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); George Benson (guitar); Woody Shaw (trumpet, flugelhorn); LaMont Johnson (piano); Bob Cranshaw (double bass); Billy Higgins (drums).
  • Liner Note Authors: Nat Hentoff; Bob Blumenthal.
  • In the late '60s, where some would often sacrifice jazz's self-expression in order to draw listeners, other musicians could make the pop/jazz combination work. Such is the case with Hank Mobley's REACH OUT! Mobley was able to incorporate the intimacy of his art into these danceable grooves with little tradeoff. Helped along by, among others, a pre-BREEZIN' George Benson, Mobley serves up one of the best efforts of his later career.
  • The most obvious attempt at commerciality is, of course, the set-opening Motown hit "Reach Out (I'll Be There)." Mobley stays close to the original tune but allows for some brief improvisation that opens the song to new possibilities. The sextet then kicks off a more traditional hard bop adventure with Mobley's sizzling "Up Over and Out." Later, the sublime pop hit "Goin' Out of My Head" is given a quasi-bossa nova groove that, again, extends its character and offers more subtle improvisations. In the end, driving tunes like Mobley's "Good Pickin's" far outweigh any pop fluff that may have infiltrated an otherwise heavyweight session.
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