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Mo Morgen’s bio states that his real name is Mike Morgenstern, he performed at New York’s Jazzmania Loft for many years and more recently led the house band at Miami’s MoJazz Café. His occasional sideman gigs have featured his capable tenor playing but on Singin' Saxy he has decided to showcase his vocal talents as well. Big mistake! While Morgen has managed to enlist some serious accompaniment Brian Murphy (piano/B-3 organ), Dennis Marks (bass) and John Yarling (drums) – his zero-octave vocal range dooms this project. Actually, the only time this quartet ever rises above cheesy, Holiday Inn-lounge-act calibre, is when Morgen puts down the mike and plays his sax. Otherwise, his renditions of such well-known jazz standards as In a Sentimental Mood, Ghost of a Chance and I Didn’t Know What Time It Was are truly unremarkable. His attempt at scat on I Thought About You will leave you laughing out loud and would surley have dear Ella spinning in her grave! ##
Personnel: Mo Morgen (vocals/sax),Brian Murphy (piano/B-3 organ), Dennis Marks (bass) and John Yarling (drums)
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.