325

The Lanny Morgan Sextet: "6"

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
The Lanny Morgan Sextet: "6" Years ago a jazz critic of the Hong Kong press referred to Lanny Morgan as the "old master," and the moniker has stuck ever since. Now, at the ripe young age of 75, the "old master" Morgan holds court yet again with a sextet of equal masters on a scintillating session of bebop burners, simply titled "6". A legendary alto saxophonist of the same generation and caliber as Lee Konitz, Phil Woods and the late Bud Shank, Morgan moved to New York in the '60s and became part of the vibrant jazz scene there, playing with Maynard Ferguson and the Howard McGhee Big Band.

Six of the seven original tunes recorded here were written during that time, and with this release Morgan's goal was to recapture some of that era's vitality and energy. He states in the liner notes, "I was around so much great music during those years, and I tried to absorb it all, I hope some of it shows a little in these tunes." It certainly does, beginning with Jackie McLean's "Minor March," which Morgan proceeds to tear up with a rapid-fire solo, inviting the same treatment from members of his mighty sextet—an A list of players including trumpeter Bob Summers, tenor saxophonist Doug Webb, in-demand West Coast pianist Tom Ranier, drummer Steve Schaeffer and bassist Chuck Berghofer.

If Morgan's intent was to lay down a bit of swing and swagger from beginning to end—to feel the heat of past fires now smoldering, to light up old charts with new and invigorating energy—he succeeds well beyond expectations. Whether peeling off torrid stretches of sax lines on originals like "213 Ocean Front," swinging a beautiful melody on "Little Folks," written for his children when they were young, or bursting the charts wide open on Chuck Mangione's sprawling "Between Races," Morgan is pure alto energy.

Morgan is especially delightful on Thad Jones's Charlie Parker tribute, "Bird Song," where each member of the band lays claim to a part of the piece with a sterling solo. Beginning with Summers then Webb, the number is perfect for showcasing the crew. The music ends in something of a departure, with Morgan attempting to mimic the music of a New Orleans parade. "6" is an unqualified success for Morgan, one of the "old masters" of jazz who is thankfully still around, kicking and continuing to deliver good music for all to enjoy.


Track Listing: Minor March; 213 Ocean Front; Little Folks; Between Races; Rollin'; Polecat; Bird Song; Bagatelle; Pail Blues; Idyllwild Camp Parade.

Personnel: Lanny Morgan: alto saxophone; Bob Summers: trumpet; Doug Webb: tenor saxophone; Steve Schaeffer: drums; Tom Ranier: piano; Chuck Berghofer: bass.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: ACME Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
  • "6" by Edward Blanco
Read more articles
Lee Konitz Lee Konitz
sax, alto
Steve Elmer Steve Elmer
piano
Art Pepper Art Pepper
sax, alto
Jim Hall Jim Hall
guitar
Paul Desmond Paul Desmond
sax, alto
Thad Jones Thad Jones
trumpet
Frank Rosolino Frank Rosolino
trombone
Bud Shank Bud Shank
saxophone
Al Cohn Al Cohn
sax, tenor
Mel Lewis Mel Lewis
drums

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Uh Oh!" CD/LP/Track Review Uh Oh!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Steelonious" CD/LP/Track Review Steelonious
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Chronicles" CD/LP/Track Review Chronicles
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "A Missing Shade of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review A Missing Shade of Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Cloud Illusions" CD/LP/Track Review Cloud Illusions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Monte Alban" CD/LP/Track Review Monte Alban
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!