Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

7

Roberto Magris Septet: Morgan Rewind: A Tribute to Lee Morgan, Vol. 2

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Not only is Italian pianist / composer Roberto Magris conversant with jazz history and tradition, he honors it, as he has done in a series of albums devoted to the music of pianist Elmo Hope, alto saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and trumpeter Lee Morgan who is saluted here in a second two-disc volume. Whereas young lion Brandon Lee sat in on Volume 1, released in 2010 (JMood 002), Morgan's surrogate this time around is Hermon Mehari. While neither one, of course, is Lee Morgan, they immersed themselves in the task at hand and carried out the arduous assignment with dexterity and confidence. There has been a change at the drum kit as well, with Brian Steever replacing Morgan's friend and fellow Philadelphian Albert "Tootie" Heath.

In an album largely centered, as Magris writes, on Morgan's intensely rhythmic and sometimes African-inflected essays (1963-68), the leader has broadened the range of color and energy by adding vibraphonist Peter Schlamb and percussionist Pablo Sanhueza to the lineup. Each one earns his spurs, with Schlamb an especially enticing soloist, remindful at times of such prominent mallet master as Gary Burton, Bobby Hutcherson or Joe Locke. As for Magris, his agile solos are invariably symmetrical and waste-free. The versatile saxophonist Jim Mair takes over for Logan Richardson, while the unflappable bassist Elisa Pruett returns to cement an implacable rhythm section. All of the seven songs on Disc 1 and four of the six on Disc 2 were written by Morgan (Magris composed the snappy "Libreville" and easygoing ballad, "A Summer's Kiss"). Disc 2 closes, as is Magris' custom, with a four-minute "audio notebook" in which JMood's producer, Paul Collins, and a guest reflect on Morgan's music.

That music begins with the impetuous "Bid for Sid" and includes a brace of African-influenced compositions, "Exotique" and "Zambia." Morgan also wrote "Blue Lace," "Cunning Lee," "The Sixth Sense," "Soft Touch," "Gary's Notebook," "Speedball," "Get Yo' Self Togetha" and "Helen's Ritual." While none of them quite rises to the level of Morgan's most memorable theme, the lovely "Ceora" ("Speedball" perhaps comes closest), they are never less than resourceful and engaging. The same can be said for the album as a whole, an earnest and animated tribute to one of the jazz world's most illustrious and influential standard-bearers whose remarkable career was far too brief and ended in tragedy.

Track Listing: Disc 1 — A Bid for Sid; Exotique; Blue Lace; Cunning Lee; The Sixth Sense; Soft Touch; Gary’s Notebook. Disc 2 — Speedball; Libreville; Get Yo’ Self Together; A Summer’s Kiss; Zambia; Helen’s Ritual; Audio Notebook.

Personnel: Roberto Magris: piano, leader; Hermon Mehari: trumpet; Jim Mair: tenor, soprano sax, flute; Peter Schlamb: vibraphone; Elisa Pruett: bass; Brian Steever: drums; Pablo Sanhueza: congas, percussion.

Title: Morgan Rewind: A Tribute to Lee Morgan, Vol. 2 | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Jmood Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Glow of Benares CD/LP/Track Review Glow of Benares
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Magic Circle CD/LP/Track Review Magic Circle
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 12, 2017
Read A Gathering Foretold CD/LP/Track Review A Gathering Foretold
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Swinging In The Holidays CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Green Moss Black Sand" CD/LP/Track Review Green Moss Black Sand
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "Originals For the Originals" CD/LP/Track Review Originals For the Originals
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 20, 2017
Read "The Return of Art Pepper" CD/LP/Track Review The Return of Art Pepper
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Today" CD/LP/Track Review Today
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Sabiduria/Wisdom" CD/LP/Track Review Sabiduria/Wisdom
by James Nadal
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "The Things We Did Last Summer" CD/LP/Track Review The Things We Did Last Summer
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 5, 2017

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!