Who's With Me--Anyone?
M. T. Barron | 12/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone else see striking parallels between the title track and Coltrane's "Spiritual" (from Live at the VVG) and Chico Hamilton's "Lady Gabor" (Man From two Worlds)?
Lee Morgan's most interesting album
Roger Berlind | NY, USA | 02/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For me, this is definitely Lee Morgan's most interesting album, at least among the 9 that I own (as of this writing). The title track at close to 16 minutes is the longest track I'm aware of Morgan having recorded. It is also the most distinct, opening with Grant Green's fluttering guitar, Billy Higgins' glittering cymbals, and a majestic theme stated by Morgan and Wayne Shorter on horns. It then shifts gears into a section that has a spunky bass line and piano vamp under the horns. The piece continues this alternation all the way through to the end while all the musicians contribute to the search. It is also a very beautiful composition from Morgan with a title suggesting something significant, possibly a hopeful search for a world free of bigotry and racism.
While the other tunes on this album are not as monumental or interesting as the title track, they are all very good. "The Joker" is a blast of fun after the serious tones that preceded it; I especially like the parts where the trumpet, sax, and guitar follow each in a brief round before joining together to restate the theme. "Mr. Kenyatta" is a more typical hard bop number and features excellent solos. "Melancholee" (note the double "e" as in Morgan's "Delightfulee" album from 1966) is more in the vein of the title track and features a beautiful arrangement. Lee's playing on this track is one of the best examples of his poignancy in ballads, another being "You Go to My Head" from his 1965 album "The Gigolo" which also featured Wayne Shorter (who is just as good as Morgan on both tunes). Finally, the album finishes with the very happy "Morgan the Pirate" who will bring a smile to your face. Perhaps the pirate has sailed into the New Land's welcoming harbor.
If you like sextets and Morgan, check out his "Tom Cat" and "Cornbread" albums. The first features Curtis Fuller on trombone and Jackie McLean on alto sax. The second features McLean on alto and Hank Mobley on tenor sax. Of course, you should also check out John Coltrane's classic "Blue Train" from 1957 which featured Morgan and Fuller as sidemen when they were both younger.
If I was only allowed to give 1 5-star rating to each artist, then this would probably be the Lee Morgan album I would chose."
Shocked that anyone could only give this 4 stars
C. Katz | Peoples Republic Of Massachussettes | 06/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You know when your jazz collection which for many starts with classic Blue Note,Prestige, or maybe Savoy you can drift away from the stone classics you haven't heard in a while.There are too many Lee Morgan,Hank Mobley,Wayne Shorter,Grant Green,Jackie McLean,Lou Donaldson,Herbie Hancock et al sessions that would count as "MUST HAVES" in a "modern" (that is post swing/bebop) collections.But this session has always been close to a favorite of mine in Morgans catalog if I had to choose.Like Shorter's "Night Dreamer" it takes the foundations of the the Jazz Messenger's (of which Morgan of course was a rotating star as the Mosaic "Complete 1960 Art Blakey" box shows) and his earlier Blue Note work and ad's the then new modal sound.The results are dreamlike and breathtaking.Though there were great sessions from the up to 1959 (the 100 series) this LP combines what made the early 60's 4000 era of Blue Note records peerless.And this album has all the qualities of that era from hard bop to modal pointing toward a "New Thing" about to take hold in the post '64 era of jazz.If for some reason this is one you missed fix that oversight before you by another hot off the press release.While not as funky or famous as "The Sidewinder" this maybe the one you come back to more often.