Soul Station: A Tribute to Hank Mobley
The premise of this outing by Eli Degibri is that jazz musicians needn’t be shy about wearing their influences on their sleeves. Following that to its logical conclusion, the Israeli saxophonist offers not just an album in honor of his hero Hank Mobley, but also a full-blown re-creation of Mobley’s signature 1960 album Soul Station. The quartet plays all six tunes from the classic and signs off with the slow-groove original “Dear Hank.” But the shifts in tempo, harmony, and instrumentation are clear: “Soul Station,” “Split Feelin’s,” and “This I Dig of You” are a good deal faster than the original versions, while “If I Should Lose You” (preceded by a clip of Mobley’s actual speaking voice from At the Cafe Bohemia Volume 1) is far slower. Unlike Mobley, Degibri incorporates soprano sax in addition to tenor, playing Wynton Kelly’s transcribed piano solo from “This I Dig of You” in daredevil unison with pianist Tom Oren. Channeling Paul Chambers and Art Blakey, bassist Tamir Shmerling and drummer Eviatar Slivnik handle every soulful beat and stop-time break (especially on “Dig Dis”) with aplomb.