Hank Mobley - A Caddy for Daddy Blue Note BLP 4230, Reissue, 2005 (1965)
Hank Mobley - tenor sax
Lee Morgan - trumpet
Curtis Fuller - trombone
McCoy Tyner - piano
Bob Cranshaw - bass
Billy Higgins - drums
At the end of 1965, Hank Mobley recorded the album "A Caddy For Daddy" as a sextet. Like many musicians of this period, the saxophonist tries his hand at writing a hit. After some unexpected successes at Blue Note (especially Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder", which can be found alongside Mobley here), the temptation to repeat the commercial feat is evident.
In fact, if we mostly remember the title track, catchy and groovy to perfection, but perhaps a bit syrupy, the next track, "The Morning After" is of a completely different order. On a minor note, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley and Curtis Fuller offer a sumptuous interweaving of melodic lines. An obvious charm operates from the first moments of this dark waltz of thirty-two bars, organized in repeated motifs by pianist McCoy Tyner. The leader's solo is developed with rigor and a laudable form of modesty. Lee Morgan's follows a similar pattern. Both highlight the specific color of their instrument. The following composition is by Wayne Shorter, the only track on the album not signed by Mobley. "Venus Di Mildew" naturally invites you to compare the playing of the two tenors. The final two tracks, "Ace Deuce Trey" and "3rd Time Around" reveal complex harmonic structures and reflect the leader's writing skills.
Essential but uneven, "A Daddy for Caddy" is representative of mid-1960s jazz, a jazz at a crossroads. Personally, I like all of these paths. Hank Mobley's is certainly not that of a Coltrane or even a Rollins. More accessible, it keeps this genius side which prevents it from falling into the mundane.
Of course, special mention to the funky cover. 🎷🔥 #record