Lee Morgan

COMPOSERS: Lee Morgan
LABELS: Blue Note
WORKS: Live at the Lighthouse
PERFORMER: Lee Morgan (t, flgl), Bennie Maupin (fl, b cl, ts), Harold Mabern (p), Jymie Merritt (b), Micky Roker (d)
CATALOGUE NO: CDP 8 35228 2
When these sides were cut in July 1970, fusion was in vogue and hard-bop was thought to be old hat, so the results were shelved. 15 years on, hard-bop is all that major recording companies want to know, as they try to hold back the rising tide of post-modernism by attempting to re-centre the growth of jazz around a marketable product. But, if hard-bop today represents the accessible mainstream, in 1970 it was quite a different proposition. At the hands of Lee Morgan it was not a language learned at the turntable, but a dialect evolved and spoken freely by the last in a line of the truly great jazz trumpeters. There is a poise and elegance in these performances that is both compelling and exciting. Every track is played as if the band’s lives depended on it, Morgan himself a bravura trumpeter solidly within the tradition but straining to extend its boundaries. SN

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