Personnel: Mark Morganelli (trumpet, flugelhorn), Kenny Barron (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums).
Recorded live at Birdland, New York on June 13, 1990. Includes liner notes by Mark Gardner.
Mark Morganelli records infrequently as a leader, but he has been very active in New York City as a promoter and producer, and inevitably has been in charge of organizing the late-night jam sessions at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference and the now-defunct Jazz Times Convention, as well as serving as the New York producer for Candid during its second incarnation. It's hard for a horn player to go wrong when he has recruited a rhythm section of Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, and Jimmy Cobb, and Morganelli seems additionally inspired by his company on this live date at Birdland. "Speak Low" is a real cooker, while Barron's "Dreams" is a gentle samba featuring the leader initially on flügelhorn before he returns on muted trumpet. Morganelli's dark flügelhorn and Barron's intriguing chord substitutions give a fresh sound to the oft-recorded "Summertime," and his waltzing version of another classic, "A Child Is Born," is also enjoyable. Morganelli also contributed two originals: the up-tempo post-bop "Blues for Ian" (in honor of his infant son) and a very happy sounding samba "The Jolly Jumper," named after one of his son's favorite toys. This CD will greatly please fans of hard bop and post-bop; Mark Morganelli clearly deserves to be recorded more frequently. ~ Ken Dryden