Born on this day: Lee Morgan (Wayne Shorter is in the background)
Photo by Francis Wolff
Lee Morgan and Johnny Griffin at Griffin’s A Blowin’ Session, Hackensack NJ, April 6 1957 (photo by Francis Wolff)
Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan captured in various states of unconsciousness by the baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter
Hank Mobley with Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan record framed at the Lee Morgan Shrine in Harlem.
Bob Cranshaw turns 80 today. See him in this video remembering Lee Morgan & recording The Sidewinder.
The liner notes by Leonard Feather on Lee Morgan’s The Sidewinder. (enlarge)
Lee Morgan - Suspended Sentence (1960)
A post from Alive Soul singing Lee Morgan’s praises reminded of my own Morgan-based obsession, which has coaxed me into hunting down every LP he appeared on in the roughly 17 years he was in the recording mix.
This under-the-radar 1990 CD release double-featuring Lee Morgan and Thad Jones is regrettably obscure. The Lee Morgan sides are impeccable, playing in what is essentially the Jazz Messengers-lite: Art Blakey and bassist Jymie Merritt are replaced here by Art Taylor and Jimmy Rowser. However, fellow 1960 Messengers Wayne Shorter and Bobby Timmons spit-shine this hard bop emerald composed by Shorter to a mirror finish.
Lee Morgan, Trumpet
Most stories I’ve read about Lee Morgan seem to fixate around his death. I’ve always been more interested in his time spent playing with Mobley, Coltrane, Golson, Elvin Jones, Blakey, and such. In my opinion, Morgan is one of the most talented and least celebrated artists in jazz music. There has been much talk about the upcoming Miles Davis movie, starring Don Cheadle, but the movie I’d REALLY like to see is the one about the life of Lee Morgan. As my good friend Atane likes to say Lee Morgan is….Essential Listening.
Leave it alone smooth jazz. Just leave it alone.
I recently heard a smooth jazz version of what sounded like Charlie Parker’s ‘Ah-Leu-Cha’. I was so disgusted. They keep going back, desecrating this music’s finest moments with this crap. Like the recent smooth jazz album “re-imagining” John Coltrane’s work. Everything is up for grabs it seems. Smooth jazz can’t leave things alone. It has to smear its crap everywhere it goes.
Who in their right mind thinks “I like Trane & Bird. If only there was a way to make their music cheesy, dumb & dull, I’d like it even more!” I can’t think of anything more unimaginative than this. Who is buying this crap? What is wrong with Coltrane and Bird as they were?
I remember hearing a smooth jazz version of Lee Morgan’s The Sidewinder a while ago. Is it not catchy enough? A part of me died when I heard it. Not just because they had the balls to do it, but because it was so terrible. Just awful. Completely void of the upbeat, fun and catchy vibe of the original, making it even more pointless. Why do they insist on peddling this garbage? For the love of all that is good, why?
Lee Morgan & Lex Humphries