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Sarah Morrow: Greenlight

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Shades of Melba Liston, another trombone player from the distaff side! Playing this sometimes clumsy instrument can be a real challenge for a woman given the stretch needed for the slide and high-level breath control required. But there are no obstacles for Sarah Morrow. Ohio born, but working mainly in Europe and was discovered by Ray Charles, she became the first female member of his Orchestra.

Morrow's inaugural album is a set of challenging and exciting music. All but two of the tracks are her compositions and he is equally adept with the pen as she is on the trombone. Morrow combines these two faculties on "Waduyathink?", a 14 minute excursion into modern jazz. The trombone poses the questions and the answers come back, sometimes discordantly, mostly from hard bopper Antoine Roney's tenor, but with Jaz Sawyer's drums getting in a word or two. An exciting, breathtaking track. "Waduyathink?" is the first half of a medley with Miles Davis' "All Blues" which gets a thoroughly modern workout by the group.

Morrow's sentimental side is heard on "You Don't Know What Love Is" as she fits well within the small group setting. James Hurt piano gets lots of space and Sawyer punctuates at just the right places to give the set pulse. Ugonna Okegwo's bass gets the spotlight on an appropriately titled tune for the album's send off, "One for the Road", where Morrow's trombone is complimented by a spare sax solo by Antoine Roney.

Lots of good stuff here. Based on this album, Sarah Morrow should be a staple on the jazz scene for a long time to come.


Track Listing: Intro; Greenlight; Tisha's Dance; Elvin Goes Waltzing; You Don't Know What Love Is; Waduyathink? / All Blues; One for the Road.

Personnel: Sarah Morrow- trombone; Antoine Roney- tenor saxophone; James Hurt- piano; Ugonna Okegwo- bass; Jaz Sawyer- drums; Kazi Oliver- percussion on "Greenlight" and "Tisha's Dance."

Title: Greenlight | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Cobra Bleu


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