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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 was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach. I fell in love with it. I wondered around until the owner (Pedro Soto) asked if I needed help. He then introduced me to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and the rest is history. I walked out of the store with my first jazz recording: Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street.