Generally when my wanders I turn to music and then proceed to wax poetically. Hank Mobley just came on Pandora, “This I Dig of You.” That’s the tune most folks associate with him, and it’s a good one. Everybody learns it and its well worth the effort. It’s a good one to take through all twelve keys, even though I always come out the other end bloody and bruised. I can play the damn thing in Bb, which is God’s favorite key.
Hank is an inspiring player. He wrote great tunes, swung hard, and never strayed from what he liked. I think of Jesse Davis the same way. Some people bust Hank’s chops because he wasn’t the trailblazer Coltrane was, but who cares. What’s wrong with developing a personal sound and developing within those parameters? We don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.
The lifeblood of jazz is foward momentum, I agree. Stagnation is death. This was Miles’s philosophy, and it served him well, but it’s not the only way to skin the cat. Perhaps we should reevaluate the nature of forward movement. We can be quietly revolutionary, inventing from the inside out. That’s called being an artisan, and that’s a good thing to be. Every time I hear Hank, I tap my foot, so it’s alright by me.