4,446

Carol Morgan Trio: Opening

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Carol Morgan Trio: Opening Opening is an album so rich in the intricacies of melody that it never fails to surprise at every turn. The saddest aspect of the album is that it is all too short. But the biggest surprise of all is Carol Morgan, a trumpeter who seems to have awakened the urge to find parallels in phrasing with the great Clarence Shaw. The often discussed "talking" style of playing attributed to men like Shaw, as well as trumpet players such as Louis Armstrong, Jabbo Smith, Bubber Miley and Rex Stewart, finds its new epitome in Carol Morgan. Her "trumpet voice" is raw and husky, and it often slips into a velvety intonation that is so seductive it's impossible to resist. It stuns the inner ear into a kind of rapture that comes from being completely captivated by her sound. The notes she plays—no matter how brisk the pace of the song is—are flawless. And because she has an uncanny sense of finding the right note to begin with, her phrases are brilliantly crafted and become lines that are as narrative in a riveting way as they are lyrical.

For this extraordinary project she has chosen her partners well. Bassist Harvie S and drummer Richie DeRosa are both astute listeners and responsive accompanists. The multi-faceted Harvie S brings all his beguiling skills to this album. His playing is wonderfully rhythmic, and he has a sublime sense of digging out melodies embedded in the rhythmic progress of the songs. His solos are filled with lyricism and he is a master of understatement, yet he constructs lines like an accomplished architect attuned to the exclusive musicality of each piece. DeRosa has the heart of a bebop drummer and recalls the dancing sense of Roy Haynes as he rattles and rolls his sticks on taut skins that seem to break into songs all their own every time he strikes them.

This short album is also a showcase for Morgan's innate comfort with several kinds of repertoire at once. Her own bebop-style composition "Opening Line" is a taut number with a slanted song line. Here Morgan sets a fresh tone and vocabulary. Bud Powell's "Celia" and Kenny Dorham's "Prince Albert" are both moving sketches in classic bop as well as beautiful vehicular designs for Morgan's vocal style. On the former track the trumpeter shows immense skill in navigating an extraordinary range on her horn with clarity, puckish humor and the ability of a skilled painter as she colors the melody with sublime instinct and grace.

"Dark Continent" ends up showcasing DeRosa's polyrhythmic ability while the voicings of trumpet and soprano saxophone are delightful and lend an airy character to the song of mystery. "Like Someone in Love" is anything but an obligatory standard as DeRosa's brushwork and Harvie S's masterful solo swing with abandon and Morgan's own inside-out reading of the song make it both familiar and delightfully new.

With this album, Carol Morgan has clearly arrived and is set to take the trumpet world by storm.


Track Listing: Opening Line; Nica's Dream; Celia; Dark Continent; Like Someone in Love; Prince Albert; Sizzle; Calypso Blue

Personnel: Carol Morgan: trumpet; Harvie S: bass; Rich DeRosa: drums; Woody Witt: tenor, soprano saxophones (7, 8).

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Blue Bamboo Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Rub Out The Word" CD/LP/Track Review Rub Out The Word
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Fierce Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Fierce Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Portraits and Places" CD/LP/Track Review Portraits and Places
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Beam Me Up" CD/LP/Track Review Beam Me Up
by Dave Wayne
Published: April 21, 2016
Read "Iridescent Clouds" CD/LP/Track Review Iridescent Clouds
by James Nadal
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Guitar Fantasies" CD/LP/Track Review Guitar Fantasies
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: November 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!