Poppin' was one of many sessions tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley recorded in the late '50s and early '60s but remained unreleased until the late '70s and '80s. It's hard to say why this session - which was recorded in 1957 -- sat on the shelves, since it as good as the other records he cut at the time. Leading a sextet featuring trumpeter Art Farmer, baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones, Mobley plays a selection of five originals and contemporary jazz songs with passion and vigor. All of the musicians turn in fine performances (Clark in particular stands out with his lithe solos and tasteful accompaniment), and the result is a winning collection of straight-ahead hard bop that ranks as another solid addition to Mobley's strong catalog.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine