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.
Track Listing: Opening Line; Nica's Dream; Celia; Dark Continent; Like Someone In Love; Prince Albert; Sizzle; Calypso Blue.
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's jazz records and listening to the radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.