Trumpeter Carol Morgan began her career in the world of classical conservatories. Around the time she received her M.A. from Julliard, however, she decided to pursue a different path. A decade later, Morgan was found headlining a jazz trio at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York City, mere walking distance from the hallowed Lincoln Center practice rooms of her previous life. Opening, on the Texas-based Blue Bamboo Music label, provides ample evidence of this dramatic transformation. It is possible to hear glimpses of her pedigree in the precise articulations and even tone, but the moody edge that envelopes her notes is strictly the stuff of jazz.
In a bold move for a debut outing, Morgan forgoes a traditional rhythm section in favor of a chordless bass-drum trio. Such instrumentation is more common among free jazz trumpet players, perhaps, but is used here to gain a wider palette for harmonic and melodic explorations in a straight-ahead setting. Morgan's veteran band matesdrummer Richie DeRosa and bassist Harvie Srise to the demands of the trio format, while providing remarkably supple support to the leader. They also contribute a pair of engaging compositions to the session.
Opening beings aggressively with "Opening Line," but soon veers into much darker terrain with an introspective rendition of Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream." Relaxed tracks such as "Like Someone In Love" and "Dark Continent," the DeRosa original featuring guest saxophonist Woody Witt, provide balance for brighter numbers like Bud Powell's "Celia" and Harvie S' "Sizzle." Despite its many moods, though, Morgan and company maintain a crisp, swinging feel throughout.
Opening Line; Nica's Dream; Celia; Dark Continent; Like Someone In Love; Prince Albert; Sizzle; Calypso Blue.
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.