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Lee Morgan: Cornbread

Album Notes

Personnel: Lee Morgan (trumpet); Jackie McLean (alto saxophone); Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Herbie Hancock (piano); Larry Ridley (bass); Billy Higgins (drums).

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on September 18, 1965. Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler.

CORNBREAD offers a typical mid-'60s Morgan set of four originals and a standard. "Most Like Lee" is a straight-ahead minor blues swinger, while the title cut is a swaggering 20-bar blues workout for the three horns that owes as much to Horace Silver's down-home gospel-inflected composing as it does to tunes like Morgan's own hit "The Sidewinder." Altoist Jackie McLean lays out for "Ceora," a bossa nova with a bop-inflected melody and a beautifully stealthy set of changes. "Our Man Higgins" is, not surprisingly, a drum feature for Billy Higgins that splits the difference between modal blowing and the blues when it comes to the solos.

The band's take on Koehler and Arlen's "Ill Wind" is an artful piece of laziness, a bluesy yet carefully arranged ballad with Morgan blowing muted trumpet throughout. The amazing thing about the Blue Note era is that it produced recordings like CORNBREAD as a matter of course. This was due in no small part to the fact that even after artists like Herbie Hancock and Hank Mobley graduated to dates as a leader, they continued to appear in the studio as sidemen.


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