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Lee Morgan: Here's Lee Morgan

Album Reviews:

Down Beat (5/01, p.73) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...The chukka-booted trumpet giant, then 22, uses space and dynamics more judiciously than on his late '50s Blue Notes, while sacrificing not an iota of intensity..."

Album Notes

Includes a bonus disc of alternate takes.

Personnel: Lee Morgan (trumpet, flugelhorn); Clifford Jordan (tenor saxophone); Wynton Kelly (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Art Blakey (drums).

Recorded at Bell Sound Studios, New York from February 2-8, 1960. Originally released on Vee-Jay (3007). Includes original release liner notes by Barbara J. Gardner.

Digitally remastered by Bob Fisher (Digital Domain).

This is a "reissue-plus" of the 1960 debut album (originally on Vee-Jay Records) by jazz trumpet great Lee Morgan. Morgan had one of the sharpest, brashest modern trumpet sounds in the '60s, right up there with contemporaries Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. On his debut he was in great company: hard bop drum legend Art Blakey (whose Jazz Messengers Morgan was a member of), '50s Miles and Coltrane pianist Wynton Kelly, bass ace Paul Chambers, and the fine, underrated tenor sax of Clifford Jordan.

The program is the usual mix of standards and originals, with a fine-and-mellow version of Frank Sinatra's ballad "I'm A Fool To Want You." Wayne Shorter's sturdy "Running Brook" pointed towards the moody, thoughtful hard bop of the Blue Note era. On his debut, Morgan was still heavily under the sway of Miles and Kenny Dorham, not having yet developed the bristling, crackling sound that was his mid-to-late '60s trademark. But the seeds of greatness are present in this easygoing set of mainstream jazz, and this set is all the more valuable for the distinctive tenor of Jordan. The plus in this reissue is a separate disc of alternate takes.


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