Bill Mobley Jazz Orchestra

Live at Small's, Vol. 2

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Over a two-day stretch in 1966 trumpeter and fl├╝gelhornist Bill Mobley

assembled an all-star big band plus a few special guests at Small's in New York City for this live recording. This second volume emphasizes works written by four of the guests. "Second Thoughts" is by Mulgrew Miller, who also takes over the piano chair for this number. With his powerful solo, plus those by the leader and alto saxophonist Jon Gordon along with Mobley's brilliant scoring of the band, this post-bop chart is an obvious winner. Tenor saxophonist Billy Pierce, another guest, contributed the driving hard bop vehicle "Sudan Blue," which showcases the blistering trombone of Pat Hallaran, as well as pianist Donald Brown and its composer. One of the late J.J. Johnson's most beloved tunes is the ballad "Lament," which spotlights Mobley's gorgeous fl├╝gelhorn solo. Pianist James Williams plays piano on his composition "For My Nephews," a soulful piece with a strong vocal by Miles Griffith (who also scats a bit). Donald Brown returns to the keyboard for his "Affaire d'Amour," a buoyant work that proves why so many jazz artists are attracted to his compositions. The excellent liner notes by Loren Schoenberg are an added bonus to this rewarding live compilation by the Bill Mobley Jazz Orchestra, which has since been reissued together with the first volume by Blue Geodesics.

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