Although I wasn't blown away by either, I did enjoy both. The playing on A is impeccable as you'd expect from peak era Blue Note. I did wonder why this particularly track though as, though I enjoyed it, it didn't stand out particularly from what i'd expect of a BN track and I felt nine minutes was a little much. It was refreshing to hear an old fashioned, relatively straightforward song with B's selection, it feels like we haven't had so many. I did feel the lack of tempo variation meant the song dragged a little, however I enjoyed its woozy feel (almost psych country) and I thought the chorus was particularly strong with that swirling, psychedelic keyboard.
Cheers for the heads-up on this song and band, B. I like it, a good sound and enjoyable tune. I guess A is a bit outside most people's musical sweet spot here, even for people who like some jazz. It's 9+ minutes, and has a deeper post-bop feel than the regular soul jazz Blue Note sound. But i think it's very special in both its conception and especially in its playing. The solos are absolutely wonderful from everyone - Mobley moving into a much more modal style than his earlier work, full of small but important atonal edges that colour it brilliantly; Morgan's is a characteristically moving section that tells a perfect story to me of conflict and resolution; and there's nothing i can possibly say about McCoy Tyner's playing that hasn't been said before or captures how amazing his playing is, but it simply lifts me up to the point where i feel ecstatic and free. His ability to play both intricate melodies and those huge, powerful chords that just fill your mind with wonder makes me beam from ear to ear. And the secret weapon, as he is on so many sessions, is the extraordinary Billy Higgins, rhythm master and all-round drum genius. The way he pushes the soloists on, or dials it back when he feels the song needs it is utter perfection. The whole tune is a tour de force - yet sadly, it captures what was both breathtaking about jazz in the mid-60s and why it was destined to start fading from popular appeal. JC's comment about A being "sweet" is like saying the ocean is "beautiful".
Ooh, Hank Mobley! Whatever happened to Edward JH, he used to bang on about Hank quite a lot, and I never really investigated. The intro is stunning, it really is, it's a languid and warm wake-up, which I think overshadows some of Mobley's next section, which feels like it's harking back to the early 60s, very much a hard-bop stylee. Morgan appears to be the real star ere, to be fair, the way he squeals into action just there is a jolt from the blue. A shame there's not more ensemble playing, really, there's something of the passing of the baton between musicians which feels unnecessary, when it's solo-solo-solo, especially when the bookends of this piece are so colourful.
Not sure on B. There seems to be something studiously retro about the song, that guitar stab and motowny drum thing. The singer's voice is kind of annoying, too, but for all that, there's something about it, there's an atmosphere or quality about it that's almost intriguing. I'm not sure what it is, but the fuller chorus bits feel quite appealing somehow.