The late 50's were a prime period for Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and in 1958 this group features emerging stars trumpeter Lee Morgan, Benny Golson on tenor and pianist Bobby Timmons, and the 1958 version of The Jazz Messengers was widely recorded during their stay in Euroupe, so this CD contains some of the better uptempo arrangements in the Blakey book as I Remember Clifford, Along Came Betty, Moanin' and Whisper Not. Hard bop at its best, and all of them propelled by the powerful drumming of Art Blakey.
Lee Morgan’s first meeting on record with Clifford Jordan was in June 1957, when Morgan was about to turn nineteen and Jordan had just begun making a name for himself. After their first collaboration, the precocious Morgan occasionally called Jordan to play tenor on his recordings; thus they recorded together twice in 1960 and once in January 1962.
Carried by its almost impossibly infectious eponymous opening track, The Sidewinder helped foreshadow the sounds of boogaloo and soul-jazz with its healthy R&B influence and Latin tinge. While the rest of the album retreats to a more conventional hard bop sound, Morgan's compositions are forward-thinking and universally solid. Only 25 at the time of its release, Morgan was accomplished (and perhaps cocky) enough to speak of mentoring the great Joe Henderson, who at 26 was just beginning to play dates with Blue Note after getting out of the military. Henderson makes a major contribution to the album, especially on "Totem Pole," where his solos showed off his singular style, threatening to upstage Morgan, who is also fairly impressive here.
2009 release from the Jazz great containing Smith's complete classic Sermon sessions, in chronological order, together for the first time ever on a single set. These are his only preserved collaborations with Lee Morgan, the formidable trumpet player whose life came to a tragic end after being shot by his girlfriend at the tender age of 33. Tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks is also featured here. The outstanding reedman would pass away at the age of 42 after a life of drug addiction and self abuse. The great Jimmy Smiths was a Jazz musician whose performances on the Hammond B-3 electric organ helped to popularize this instrument.
A gem of an early album from Lee Morgan – quite different than his work as a leader for the Savoy label during the same period! Although Morgan's only a wee lad at the time, the album's got an incredible sense of warmth and imagination – one that's steeped in lessons learned from Horace Silver and Art Blakey, and played with a style that's as richly expressive as it is soulful – a no-nonsense, no-tricks approach to the trumpet that gave Morgan a voice that was clearly different from predecessors like Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Fats Navarro! The album's got a stellar lineup that includes Horace Silver, Wilbur Ware, and Philly Joe Jones – plus the virtually unknown Clarence Sharpe, who makes a rare appearance on alto on this session! The whole thing's great, and filled with unique titles that include "Reggie Of Chester", "Little T", "Gaza Strip", and "Roccus".
This 1959 concert in Paris by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers has been sporadically available on various labels, but this reissue in Verve's Jazz in Paris series is the best sounding and best packaged of the lot. Blakey's group of this period (Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Jymie Merritt, and Walter Davis, Jr.) is in great form during an extended workout of Morgan's intense blues "The Midget," and Dizzy Gillespie's timeless "A Night in Tunisia" is kicked off by Blakey's an electrifying solo. But it is the addition of some special guests for the first two numbers that proves to be extra special. Bud Powell, sitting in for Davis, and French saxophonist Barney Wilen, on alto rather than his normal tenor sax, are both added to the band for inspired versions of Powell's "Dance of the Infidels" and "Bouncing with Bud." Morgan's trumpet playing is outstanding throughout the concert. This is one of the essential live dates in Art Blakey's rather extensive discography.
Reissue. Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. Tremendous work by Lee Morgan – easily one of his greatest albums, and a soaring session of modal energy that easily rivals the best work of the Impulse era! The album's got a slightly different feel than usual for Blue Note – a sense of freedom, joy, and soaring energy that's totally great – explored by a crack group that features Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor, Harold Mabern on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums – all coming together with a unique sense of creativity!