Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

273

Frank Morgan: Reflections

By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Reflections | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: HighNote Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Without You CD/LP/Track Review
Without You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Internal Combustion CD/LP/Track Review
Internal Combustion
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Chant Triptych II CD/LP/Track Review
Chant Triptych II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Oasis CD/LP/Track Review
Oasis
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Les Oiseaux de Matisse CD/LP/Track Review
Les Oiseaux de Matisse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Drum Solos For Dancers Only CD/LP/Track Review
Drum Solos For Dancers Only
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read "Seraphic Light [Live At Tufts University]" CD/LP/Track Review Seraphic Light [Live At Tufts University]
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 5, 2018
Read "Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers" CD/LP/Track Review Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 6, 2018
Read "Live in Lisbon" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Lisbon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 13, 2018
Read "44/876" CD/LP/Track Review 44/876
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 15, 2018
Read "Zero" CD/LP/Track Review Zero
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: February 4, 2018
Read "Fish Out of Water (Deluxe Edition)" CD/LP/Track Review Fish Out of Water (Deluxe Edition)
by John Kelman
Published: June 15, 2018