Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 12/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Don't let the cheesy album cover fool you, Lee Morgan's "Caramba" is a hard bop fiesta. This Blue Note session was recorded on May 3, 1968 and features three of Lee's old buddies -- Cedar Walton on piano, Reggie Workman on bass and Billy Higgins on drums -- joining a then relative jazz newcomer, tenor saxophonist Bennie Maupin. The disc's material is classic late Lee, from the laidback groove of the title track to the energetic, hard driving (and oddly titled) "Suicide City." All of the tunes are penned by Morgan, except for fellow Philadelphian Cal Massey's ballad "A Baby's Smile," which is issued on this CD for the first time. While this disc is not on par with "The Sidewinder" or "The Rumproller," you won't say "Ay Caramba" after purchasing "Caramba.""