273

Frank Morgan: Reflections

By

Sign in to view read count
Frank Morgan: Reflections Alto saxophonist Frank Morgan remains one of the coolest bebop players and an inspiration to all. The legend of his losing three decades of his musical career to drug abuse and incarceration, followed by a significant rebirth in 1985, has already been retold too many times. Morgan's post-'85 albums remain a study in lyricism, swing and, in a word, the very best of the lifelong lessions imparted by his mentor, Charlie Parker. Unfortunately, Parker's influence upon the then-teenage Morgan was the primary cause of his troubles.

The albums he's recorded over the past two decades on Contemporary, Antilles, Verve, Telarc and HighNote all possess these same qualities, whether Morgan is examining the fluent and fast-charging sense of Bird's bebop or the low-key and lyric beauty of his balladry. Frank Morgan suffered a serious stroke ten years ago which put a halt to his recording career until City Nights (HighNote, 2004), which he followed up with Raising the Standard: Live at the Jazz Standard, Vol. 2 (HighNote, 2005).

The rhythm section employed by Morgan on Reflections is perfectly sympatico with the altoist. Pianist Ronnie Mathews, bassist Essiet Essiet and drummer Billy Hart are as perfectly meshed with the altoist as have been quality players like George Cables, Curtis Lundy, Cedar Walton, Billy Higgins, Kenny Barrron and Ray Brown, who played on some of the seventeen Frank Morgan sessions released since 1985.

Morgan has a long history with the tunes chosen for this session. Most of them are ballads, but the Miles Davis piece "Solar" is done up-tempo. Morgan recalls the song vividly in the liner notes and was disappointed that he never got to hear the original altoist, Davey Schildkraut, on the original. Likewise, on the Davis classic "Walkin'," Morgan imbues his solo with great feeling and remembrances of the 1954 Prestige version. The choice of ballad titles like "Crazy He Calls Me," "I'll Be Around" and "Blue Monk" fit in perfectly with the Morgan mystique.

Track Listing: Walkin'; Monk's Mood; I'll Be Around; Love Story; Solar; Blue Monk; Crazy He Calls Me; Out Of Nowhere.

Personnel: Frank Morgan: alto saxophone; Ronnie Mathews: piano; Essiet Essiet: bass; Billy Hart: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: HighNote Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Circles CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Windmills CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Ugly Beautiful CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Trickster CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read Caipi CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 24, 2017
Read United CD/LP/Track Review United
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Hungarian Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Hungarian Noir
by James Nadal
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "The Havana Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Havana Sessions
by James Nadal
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Ashé" CD/LP/Track Review Ashé
by James Nadal
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "Fellow Creatures" CD/LP/Track Review Fellow Creatures
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Timeless Again" CD/LP/Track Review Timeless Again
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

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!