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: saxophones (4).

Title: Opening | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Blue Bamboo Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Quantum Man" CD/LP/Track Review Quantum Man
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "A Curious Feeling" CD/LP/Track Review A Curious Feeling
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 16, 2016
Read "Sleight Of Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Sleight Of Hand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 16, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.