Personnel: Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Lee Morgan (trumpet); Harold Mabern (piano); Larry Ridley (bass); Billy Higgins (drums).
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on June 18, 1965. Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler.
With DIPPIN', Hank Mobley is clearly entrenched in his "hard" period, as his more muscular, yet still round, tone and his penchant for funky grooves dominate the session. As on many other Mobley sides, Lee Morgan and Billy Higgins return to lend their respective touches, which once started the flame burning with Morgan's "The Sidewinder." Pianist Harold Mabern and bassist Larry Ridley round out the group. It is Mobley, however, who blows strongest here, strengthened by a long string of powerful dates like this one.
Like most post-"Sidewinder" Blue Note dates, DIPPIN' kicks off with a near-rip-off of the popular Morgan hit from 1963. Here, "The Dip" satisfies the requisite funkiness with a spirited quasi-Latin beat from Higgins and a Horace Silver-esque melody. The following "Recado Bossa Nova," one of the session's most memorable cuts, captures the Brazilian style that caused such a stir with equal amounts of taste and bluesy grunge. Later, the date's only ballad, the classic "I See Your Face Before Me," offers a respite with one of Mobley's smokiest performances on record. Finally, the closer "Ballin'" is a joyous waltz that ends the session on a swinging blast.