7

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

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Roberto Magris Septet: Morgan Rewind: A Tribute to Lee Morgan, Vol. 2 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 Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "The Big Wig" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "Back To Your Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Back To Your Heart
by Jeff Winbush
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Nomad" CD/LP/Track Review Nomad
by Nick Davies
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Overseas V" CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Troy Collins
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "Schönbrunn" CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Invitation" CD/LP/Track Review Invitation
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.