This Trumpeter Debuted Terrific-Lee
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 10/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Despite this album's claim, Lee Morgan's debut recording was actually made for Blue Note on November 4, 1956. In the rush to record "the next Clifford Brown," Savoy then brought Lee into the studio with Hank Mobley, Hank Jones, Doug Watkins and Art Taylor on November 5th and 7th to cut the material on this CD. Savoy was able to utilize the catch phrase "Introducing Lee Morgan" because they got their product to market first. But like most Savoy efforts, this disc feels a bit rushed. While neither the Blue Note or Savoy titles boast any Morgan originals (Mobley and Watkins contributed original compositions for this session, plus there are some standards and a Fats Navarro tune), Morgan's individual style comes more to the forefront on the Blue Note, which by the way is titled "Indeed!" and is currently out of print domestically. This Savoy title, like most albums for that label, is basically a jam session, which in most cases would warrant only a three-star rating from yours truly. However, in this case I have bumped it up to four stars because the five guys that make up this jam session can really jam, and with only one of Morgan's six Blue Note 50s sessions currently available stateside ("Candy" -- see my review), any early Lee is better than nothing."
Jam Session Jam Packed With Music
Thomas Rhody | oregon | 08/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This may be indeed a jam session, but it is one of my top ten favorite jazz cd favorites--I have over 300 jazz cds. I prefer this Savoy session to the unarguably great Blue Note Cds including "Sidewinder." Playing tenor on this cd is Hank Mobley; he is swinging and much less stylized here than say on his Blue Note "Soul Station." In fact,
The sound here is melodious, talented, relaxed and jazzy reminiscent of the early "Hank Mobley Message of Hank Mobley" (Savoy) and the "Hank Mobley Messages" on OJC(Prestige). Hank Jones is a great pianist, and he is excellent on this CD as he always is. I listen to this Cd and the Prestige "Hank Mobley Messages" at least once a week, the vibe and musicianship are that good--I recommend this underrated jam gem!"
Glad to meet you, but can't you stay?
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 11/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'd agree with the previous reviewer that Morgan plays beautifully on this early occasion, maiden voyage on record or not. In fact, the recording vindicates the good judgement of those who saw him as potentially the next Diz or Clifford. And much of his no-nonsense, purely melodic approach can be credited to his supporting cast, from a rhythm section with the distinctive touch and sound of Hank Jones and Doug Watkins to the simply unmatched musicality of Hank Mobley, the champion soloist in any division (it was Leonard Feather who dubbed him the "middleweight champ" of the tenor).
I love Mobley's unforced sound, his striking melodic invention eschewing all formulae and learned patterns, his it's-all-about-the-music example in evidence on all of his fifties sessions. But I'd have to disagree that any of those exemplary qualities had been diminished whatsoever in his Blue Note sessions from the early sixties. There's certainly no "Sidewinder," "Rumproller," or other time-wasting, inferior nonsense on "Soul Station" and his other recordings before 1965, the year when the pressures from the studio, the public, and even some of his "hipper" fellow musicians apparently got to him and led to a precipitous decline in his playing.
With musicians of this caliber, the word "jam session" means no more than it does on the hasty four albums Miles made for Prestige to finish his contractual obligations with the company. Today, each is regarded as a masterpiece. The only disappointment I find with this album is its brevity and somewhat deceptive labeling. Numbers 4-7 aren't four separate tracks but a single ballad medley. The date sorely needed one additional tune, preferably an up-tempo closer for the album to have satisfying completeness. Like his life, the featured player checked out too early."