325

Lee Morgan: The Last Session

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Lee Morgan: The Last Session The Last Session is the fascinating final chapter in the recording career of Lee Morgan (1938-1972). Formerly a double album set known simply as Lee Morgan, this September 1971 date captures the trumpeter in a most unusual octet setting with seemingly opposing personalities. Morgan and company tackle five long, modally-based songs here and while it's not always satisfying, compelling sounds and styles are explored throughout (most memorably from tenor man Billy Harper). Harper's "Capra Black" opens the disc in a Coltrane-like modal/free context. Morgan, tenor man Billy Harper and trombonist Grachan Moncur III solo individually and collectively, while pianist Harold Mabern lays down Tyneresque chordal vamps. Harper shines brightest here, but Morgan fans will welcome the familiarity of the trumpeter's and pianist's solos. Morgan returns to more familiar modal ground on Mabern's 16-minute "In What Direction Are You Headed?," the album's best track. Flautist Bobbi Humphrey, sounding a little too much like Hubert Laws with less personality, is introduced here and Mabern does his thing appealingly on electric piano. Here, Morgan is in his element and plays well to prove it. Moncur and Harper also take long, worthwhile solos.

The group trudges through less interesting titles like Jymie Merrit's "Angela" and Billy Harper's modal waltz, "Croquet Ballet" (where Harper's impressive solo unfortunately highlights the awkwardness of Morgan's spot). Freddie Waits' "Inner Passions Out" is just too long and too ponderous, but, as elsewhere, interesting sounds come from Harper and Moncur. Such explorative (and mostly non-electric) sounds like this weren't too common in jazz in 1972 and prompt one to consider which directions Morgan would have explored after The Last Session. But those who admire Billy Harper will be most satisfied by Morgan's menu here.

Tracks:Capra Black; In What Direction Are You Headed?; Angela; Crquet Ballet; Inner Passions Out.


Personnel: Lee Morgan: trumpet, fluegelhorn; Grachan Moncur III: trombone; Bobbi Humphrey: flute; Billy Harper: tenor saxophone, alto flute; Harold Mabern: piano, electric piano; Jymie Merritt: electric bass; Reggie Workman: bass, percussion; Freddy Waits: drums, recorder.

Title: The Last Session | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Translator's Note CD/LP/Track Review Translator's Note
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 28, 2017
Read Then and Now CD/LP/Track Review Then and Now
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 28, 2017
Read Gol CD/LP/Track Review Gol
by James Nadal
Published: July 28, 2017
Read Duo (DCWM) 2013 CD/LP/Track Review Duo (DCWM) 2013
by John Sharpe
Published: July 28, 2017
Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "What Doesn’t Kill You" CD/LP/Track Review What Doesn’t Kill You
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Live at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival / Matt Savage: Piano Voyages" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival /...
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "The Company I Keep" CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Polygon" CD/LP/Track Review Polygon
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Vit" CD/LP/Track Review Vit
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 7, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.