Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lee Morgan - Here’s Lee Morgan (1960)

This is a reissue of the 1960 debut album (originally on Vee-Jay Records) by jazz trumpet great Lee Morgan. Morgan had one of the sharpest, brashest modern trumpet sounds in the ‘60s, right up there with contemporaries Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. On his debut he was in great company: hard bop drum legend Art Blakey (whose Jazz Messengers Morgan was a member of), ‘50s Miles and Coltrane pianist Wynton Kelly, bass ace Paul Chambers, and the fine, underrated tenor sax of Clifford Jordan.

The program is the usual mix of standards and originals, with a fine-and-mellow version of Frank Sinatra’s ballad “I’m A Fool To Want You.” Wayne Shorter’s sturdy “Running Brook” pointed towards the moody, thoughtful hard bop of the Blue Note era. On his debut, Morgan was still heavily under the sway of Miles and Kenny Dorham, not having yet developed the bristling, crackling sound that was his mid-to-late ‘60s trademark. But the seeds of greatness are present in this easygoing set of mainstream jazz, and this set is all the more valuable for the distinctive tenor of Jordan.

Recorded at Bell Sound Studios, New York from February 2-8, 1960. Originally released on Vee-Jay (3007).
Personnel: Lee Morgan (trumpet, flugelhorn); Clifford Jordan (tenor saxophone); Wynton Kelly (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Art Blakey (drums).


1. Terrible T
2. Mogie
3. I’m a Fool to Want You
4. Running Brook
5. Off Spring
6. Bess

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