Author Topic: Lee Morgan  (Read 3733 times)

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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Lee Morgan
« on: July 04, 2021, 02:54:37 AM »
I recently heard some excerpts from a 3-CD set of Lee Morgan's called "Live at the Lighthouse" which I enjoyed.  I have a smattering of jazz albums but don't know a whole lot about it and it can be rather daunting at times to figure out where to dive in.  What do you folks who are familiar with his recordings think of this set and are there any classic ones by him that you think that I should explore? From what I understand (after doing some quick googling), it falls into the category of "hard bop"?  Suggestions of tracks to explore further online would also be appreciated.   :)

PD

p.s.  If there is already a thread on Lee Morgan, please feel free to move this there.  I didn't see one, but I might not have gone back in the search engine far enough to find it.

Offline mabuse

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2021, 04:23:41 AM »
I will take a listen into his huge discography... :P
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Morgan_discography

This album would be his most notorious :

The Sidewinder (1964)
https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_naLV7D_CI6fSCMPyAjFz2lSVBmINbY2XY

But personally I know him especially for having been a "Jazz Messenger" :

Moanin' (1958)
https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_l38XpVWB76Bpt1yJs8Sc1Fg-neJvxpx4I

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2021, 05:27:39 AM »
The Lighthouse material is highly regarded by Morgan fans, BUT...there's an upcoming 12 LP / 8-CD reissue of that material, on Blue Note of all labels!

https://www.bluenote.com/lee-morgan-the-complete-live-at-the-lighthouse-out-july-30/

I'm considering that one.

Lee Morgan is pretty much the quintessential 50s/60s Blue Note hard bop trumpeter (OK, Donald Byrd was also big). I only have a few of his solo releases, but boatloads with him as sideman.
Pretty much any of his appearances with Blakey* or also including Horace Silver (the "co-creators" of hard bop) or Hank Mobley are recommendable.

*although my favorite Blakey recordings feature Kenny Dorham or Clifford Brown

Sidewinder is really popular, a landmark recording which arguably started hard bop's 1960s decline to formulaic boogaloo tunes.

I have a taste for the 60s Blue Note recordings that stretch (to some extent) the boundaries of hard bop, and this one is outstanding:



This is a pretty good sideman appearance with the underrated Tina Brooks, also with Sonny Clark, who's a personal favorite:


Lee Morgan died in lurid circumstances - his girlfriend shot him on stage at Slug's in the East Village - and there's an interesting film I Called Him Morgan: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4170344/
Thank you for the music suggestions; I'll look into them.  I really didn't need to know about the circumstances though.  Truthfully, I hate it when guys add stuff like this.  It's one of the reasons that I am sometimes reluctant to go onto a forum.  All I asked for was music suggestions....  Sorry, I am not trying to be mean or unappreciative of you taking the time to reply, but I just didn't need to have this image stuck into my head. 

Best wishes,

PD

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2021, 05:57:26 AM »
I always like the hipness/badness of Lee Morgan, and I have a majority of his albums. While most of his albums are very good, I personally like the Vol. 3 and Gigolo. Sidewinder and Cornbread are mixed bags, imo. Also, he is great in Coltrane’s Blue Train, Jackie Mclean’s Consequence, and Shorter’s Introducing Wayne Shorter. These are my personal favorites, and almost all of his albums are fine/very good.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2021, 07:26:44 AM »
In lieu of forums, the All Music Guide is a reasonable source for jazz recording info.

Biography: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/lee-morgan-mn0000226380/biography

Discography: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/lee-morgan-mn0000226380/discography (note there's a separate click required for compilations)

They give plenty of reviews, and the "album picks" are obvious places to start. Can't always trust the star ratings, as there are myriad three-star reviews with extremely laudatory text.
Thank you for your suggestions; I've visited them (and used paperback guides back in the day).  And thank you for editing your original post--I really appreciate that!  There are a number of very nice, thoughtful and polite people on this forum and I really enjoy sharing music questions, recs, etc. with them....yourself included.  :)

Off now to copy down the recs and check into them.

Thanks to the rest of you guys for your suggestions.  Will reply further when I've had the chance to listen to some of them.

PD

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2021, 04:08:45 PM »
The first thing I thought of when I saw the title of this thread was the Lighthouse album. If there's going to be an 8cd complete version its something I will seriously consider.

I'm another who doesn't see why the Sidewinder album gets all the attention, though his whole discography is consistantly strong.

His time with the jazz Messengers is my favorite / most played era of theirs.

Another recommendation here for the Search For The New Land album - it was the second thing I thought of when I saw the thread title.

High time I filled in some gaps in his sideman work that I've not yet heard.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2021, 01:20:28 AM »
I found out that a friend of mine has The Sidewinder on CD and also one called The Cooker (on either CD or LP--or knowing him, possibly on both!) and am told that I can borrow them.

Wondering how much added material that there will be to the Lighthouse set and whether it's worth it cost-wise or if better just to find a copy of the 3-CD one?

PD

Offline T. D.

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2021, 06:11:58 AM »
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-complete-live-at-the-lighthouse-lee-morgan-dizzy-gillespie-art-blakey-max-roach-jack-de-johnette-dave-douglas-11629224092

Track listing indicating previously unreleased material:

https://www.bluenote.com/lee-morgan-the-complete-live-at-the-lighthouse/

I'm undecided. 8 CDs is a lot, and many tunes are performed multiple times. OTOH, a similar Art Pepper (9 CD, https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Village-Vanguard-Sessions-CD/dp/B000000X90) release with heavy track duplication is one of my favorite box sets.


Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2021, 07:38:08 AM »
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-complete-live-at-the-lighthouse-lee-morgan-dizzy-gillespie-art-blakey-max-roach-jack-de-johnette-dave-douglas-11629224092

Track listing indicating previously unreleased material:

https://www.bluenote.com/lee-morgan-the-complete-live-at-the-lighthouse/

I'm undecided. 8 CDs is a lot, and many tunes are performed multiple times. OTOH, a similar Art Pepper (9 CD, https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Village-Vanguard-Sessions-CD/dp/B000000X90) release with heavy track duplication is one of my favorite box sets.
Good luck with that!  If you do decide to purchase it, let us know how you like it.

PD

Offline T. D.

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2021, 07:48:23 AM »
Good luck with that!  If you do decide to purchase it, let us know how you like it.

PD

Nope, after the GMG brouhaha concerning a poster receiving unsolicited nasty PMs about "listening to s**t composers", I'm posting jazz listening only on jazz forums. Sticking to non-exotic classical on GMG. This particular subforum sees little activity in any case. I only posted the above to follow up on an existing topic.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2021, 08:42:20 AM »
Nope, after the GMG brouhaha concerning a poster receiving unsolicited nasty PMs about "listening to s**t composers", I'm posting jazz listening only on jazz forums. Sticking to non-exotic classical on GMG. This particular subforum sees little activity in any case. I only posted the above to follow up on an existing topic.
Oh, o.k.  Sorry to hear that.  :(

I'm hoping that one of the libraries that I can borrow from will purchase a copy of it.  We'll see!

PD

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2021, 03:58:24 PM »
Nope, after the GMG brouhaha concerning a poster receiving unsolicited nasty PMs about "listening to s**t composers", I'm posting jazz listening only on jazz forums. Sticking to non-exotic classical on GMG. This particular subforum sees little activity in any case. I only posted the above to follow up on an existing topic.

I seem to have missed whatever that was. On which thread did it take place?

I hope your posting doesn't change because of one troll. Because then the troll wins.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2021, 06:19:02 AM »
I’m rather a fan of Lee Morgan (especially during his Jazz Messenger days), so The Complete Live at the Lighthouse 8-CD box set is definitely on my to-buy list. Whoops...too late, I already bought it. :P

It does look great, indeed:

"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline T. D.

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2021, 04:24:33 PM »
I ordered this as well, with some misgivings (8 CD?  ::) ). Reason: while all Morgan's work is good, when it comes to sessions he led I prefer the later, slightly more "outside"-leaning music such as the Search for the New Land album. The Lighthouse material is (according to what I've read) in that general style. Also, the sound quality of this release is said to be a significant improvement on the old 3-CD Lighthouse set.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2021, 05:39:31 PM »
I ordered this as well, with some misgivings (8 CD?  ::) ). Reason: while all Morgan's work is good, when it comes to sessions he led I prefer the later, slightly more "outside"-leaning music such as the Search for the New Land album. The Lighthouse material is (according to what I've read) in that general style. Also, the sound quality of this release is said to be a significant improvement on the old 3-CD Lighthouse set.

Truth be told, I actually bought this for my dad as he’s a big Morgan fan as he only previously owned the 3-CD set and you know how fast these box sets go OOP. It’s better to jump on it while it’s still hot off the press. I probably agree with you about Morgan and Search for the New Land to be best of my memory was an excellent album. I think this album had Hancock on it, so pretty smart of Morgan to bring the harmonically-daring Hancock into this recording session.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline T. D.

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2021, 09:53:36 AM »
I got it and have listened to the whole set.

It's good. Bennie Maupin (ts, fl, bcl) is really awesome and almost steals the show. I had practically no recordings with him before this box. Harold Mabern (piano), of whom I'm a fan, is also strong; perhaps some solos are overly long and rambling, but that's part of live sets. Jymie Merritt plays electric bass, but no complaints about the sound (my taste runs more to acoustic).

A guy on a jazz forum had a good description of the music: "...think of it as the missing link between Lee Morgan & Music Inc. or vice-versa".

Do I need 8 CDs of this material? Rationally, probably not. But it's an important archival reissue, less than half the price per disc of Mosaics without the unpleasant (IMO) bulky packaging. There is a fine booklet, approx. 5+" square as opposed to Mosaic's 12"x12". I'll happily take that in exchange for reduced shelf space, don't care about fancy photos.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2021, 02:04:34 AM »
I got it and have listened to the whole set.

It's good. Bennie Maupin (ts, fl, bcl) is really awesome and almost steals the show. I had practically no recordings with him before this box. Harold Mabern (piano), of whom I'm a fan, is also strong; perhaps some solos are overly long and rambling, but that's part of live sets. Jymie Merritt plays electric bass, but no complaints about the sound (my taste runs more to acoustic).

A guy on a jazz forum had a good description of the music: "...think of it as the missing link between Lee Morgan & Music Inc. or vice-versa".

Do I need 8 CDs of this material? Rationally, probably not. But it's an important archival reissue, less than half the price per disc of Mosaics without the unpleasant (IMO) bulky packaging. There is a fine booklet, approx. 5+" square as opposed to Mosaic's 12"x12". I'll happily take that in exchange for reduced shelf space, don't care about fancy photos.
Thank you for your review!  Pleased to hear that you are enjoying it.  Reminds me to send an email to local music librarian to see whether or not she has decided to order it.  I'll send a link to that article/review that you had posted here too.

PD

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2021, 06:31:27 AM »
I got it and have listened to the whole set.

It's good. Bennie Maupin (ts, fl, bcl) is really awesome and almost steals the show. I had practically no recordings with him before this box. Harold Mabern (piano), of whom I'm a fan, is also strong; perhaps some solos are overly long and rambling, but that's part of live sets. Jymie Merritt plays electric bass, but no complaints about the sound (my taste runs more to acoustic).

A guy on a jazz forum had a good description of the music: "...think of it as the missing link between Lee Morgan & Music Inc. or vice-versa".

Do I need 8 CDs of this material? Rationally, probably not. But it's an important archival reissue, less than half the price per disc of Mosaics without the unpleasant (IMO) bulky packaging. There is a fine booklet, approx. 5+" square as opposed to Mosaic's 12"x12". I'll happily take that in exchange for reduced shelf space, don't care about fancy photos.
Just started listening to this set today.  Played Disc One...particularly enjoyed "Something Like This" and "Yunjana".  The sound is excellent!  I haven't yet listened to it on my good stereo, but even on my cheap one in the kitchen, it sounded wonderful!  Started reading the booklet and have been enjoying that too.

Is the Lighthouse (which is in Hermosa Beach, California) still alive and kicking?  I bet that it would be a wonderful place to see a show....at least if you're not too sleepy after a day at the beach.  :D

PD

Offline T. D.

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Re: Lee Morgan
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2021, 07:28:43 AM »
Just started listening to this set today.  Played Disc One...particularly enjoyed "Something Like This" and "Yunjana".  The sound is excellent!  I haven't yet listened to it on my good stereo, but even on my cheap one in the kitchen, it sounded wonderful!  Started reading the booklet and have been enjoying that too.

Is the Lighthouse (which is in Hermosa Beach, California) still alive and kicking?  I bet that it would be a wonderful place to see a show....at least if you're not too sleepy after a day at the beach.  :D

PD

In a way, after long jazz-free hiatus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighthouse_Caf%C3%A9

Years ago, there was a woman (Sandi*, now deceased) on the now-defunct All About Jazz forum who had grown up in the area, frequented the club, and had many fascinating stories to tell. Great reading, though her nostalgic accounts may not have been 100% reliable.

*[Added] Her name was Saundra Hummer. Found one link: https://www.mchs1957.org/winkler-bios.html
The AAJ links are of course dead. Few stories and a picture.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 10:36:01 AM by T. D. »