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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Verve Reissues

This ballad-oriented set features veteran altoist Frank Morgan on four duets with pianist George Cables, interacting with either Cables or Ronnie Mathews on piano, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Al Foster on the other selections, and welcoming trumpeter Wynton Marsalis to "Bessie's Blues" and "Up Jumped Spring." Every Morgan recording is well worth picking up (the altoist has been very consistent in the studio), but this one purposely has less mood variation than most and is often a bit melancholy. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Bebop - Released November 9, 2018 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released June 27, 2006 | HighNote Records

Frank Morgan is in a mellow and lyrical mood for this quartet date with Ronnie Mathews, Essiet Essiet, and Billy Hart. The songs are all familiar ones, eight tunes that mean a lot to the altoist. The tempos range from ballads to a medium pace with Morgan taking his time, creating thoughtful and melodic solos that pay tribute to the melodies, his roots in Charlie Parker bebop, and his own mature style. The result is a set of very nice music, accessible yet full of subtle creativity. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Jazz - Released January 1, 1992 | Verve

A '92 release by marvelous alto saxophonist Frank Morgan, whose life story and triumph over heroin addiction and imprisonment was one of the '80s' great success tales. Morgan's biting, yet sensitive and rich alto has rightly been traced to Charlie Parker, but Morgan long ago rid his style of any imitative excesses. He was excellently supported on this program of duets by an amazing lineup of rotating pianists: Kenny Barron, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris, Roland Hanna, and Hank Jones. © Ron Wynn /TiVo

Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Telarc

Frank Morgan moved from Antilles to Telarc with Love, Lost and Found, which emphasizes the altoist's romantic side and boasts Cedar Walton on piano, Ray Brown on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. Those who had been following Morgan's career knew that he was a magnificent ballad player, and ballads are a very high priority on this CD. Most of the standards that he embraces had been recorded time and time again over the years, including "Skylark," "I Can't Get Started," "My One and Only Love," and "Don't Blame Me." But Morgan's playing is so personal and so darn soulful that one doesn't mind hearing yet another version of "What Is This Thing Called Love" or "All The Things You Are." It's best for musicians to stay away from such warhorses unless they have something really personal to bring to them, and thankfully, Morgan does. Though it doesn't offer a lot of surprises, Love, Lost and Found is a rewarding disc that admirers of Morgan's more romantic playing will appreciate. © Alex Henderson /TiVo

Bebop - Released August 27, 2004 | HighNote Records

Captured live over three evenings in late November 2003 at New York's Jazz Standard, saxophonist Frank Morgan continues to illuminate the Charlie Parker style of bebop he's been playing since the mid-'50s. Morgan is one of the survivors who grew up in that era and has been plagued by drug abuse and stretches in prison for the majority of his life. Fortunately, Morgan's playing in 2003 remains untouched by his personal habits. These eight tracks are a nice combination of ballads including "Georgia on My Mind" and "'Round Midnight" with raucous versions of Coltrane's "Impressions" and the Charlie Parker vehicle "Cherokee." Morgan is featured on alto saxophone throughout, accompanied by an excellent trio of jazz stalwarts who have frequently collaborated over the years: George Cables on piano, Curtis Lundy on bass, and Billy Hart on drums. These musicians work collective wonders and consistently inspire Morgan, making this set highly recommended. © Al Campbell /TiVo

Bebop - Released January 22, 1996 | GNP Crescendo


Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Verve Reissues

This sampler CD from Verve has ten ballad-oriented performances featuring altoist Frank Morgan that are taken from his four Antilles albums (A Lovesome Thing, Listen to the Dawn, You Must Believe In Spring and Mood Indigo). Serious collectors will want to pick up his complete sets, but those listeners who enjoy hearing Morgan's Charlie Parker-influenced alto at slower tempos may enjoy this overview. There are duets with guitarist Kenny Burrell and pianists Kenny Barron and Barry Harris, a vocal by Abbey Lincoln (on the passionate but somewhat unsuitable "Ten Cents A Dance") and cameos by trumpeter Roy Hargrove and Wynton Marsalis. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Jazz - Released January 1, 1994 | Verve Reissues

Listen to the Dawn is a rare example of Frank Morgan recording an entire album without a pianist. The veteran alto saxophonist, who was only two weeks away from his 60th birthday when this post-bop/be bop CD was recorded, evidently wanted to try something a bit different -- and it was a move that paid off creatively. Whether he's forming an intimate duo with guitarist Kenny Burrell or forming a quartet with Burrell, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Grady Tate, Morgan fares quite well without a pianist. This isn't an album of fast tempos and high-speed aggression -- from Burrell offerings like "Listen to the Dawn" and "Remembering" to highly personal interpretations of Gordon Jenkins' "Goodbye," Duke Ellington's "I Didn't Know About You" (which becomes a sexy bossa nova), and the standard "It Might as Well Be Spring," Morgan is especially introspective and really takes time to reflect. This compelling CD should not be missed. © Alex Henderson /TiVo

Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | Verve Reissues

Altoist Frank Morgan's unlikely comeback after 30 years off the scene was a successful fact by 1990. For this Antilles CD he is heard with a fine rhythm section (pianist George Cables, bassist David Williams and drummer Lewis Nash) and welcomes trumpeter Roy Hargrove to three songs. Guest singer Abbey Lincoln takes vocals on "Ten Cents A Dance" (lacking Ruth Etting's desperate hopelessness) and "Wholey Earth." Morgan plays a brief sweet version of "When You Wish Upon A Star" and performs several introspective ballads. There are no barnburners on the date but overall the music is rewarding. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Bebop - Released June 14, 2005 | HighNote Records

"Morgan still plays with youthful exuberance...He exhibits a mature self-assuredness in staying close to the melody..." © TiVo

Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Telarc

Although all eight selections on this CD have been played many times before (the only song not a boppish warhorse is John Lewis' "Milano"), altoist Frank Morgan makes each of the pieces sound fresh. As producer John Snyder is quoted in the liner notes, this is bop without cliches. Morgan, who is assisted by pianist Rodney Kendrick, drummer Leroy Williams and either Curtis Lundy or Ray Drummond on bass, digs into such songs as "Well You Needn't," "A Night In Tunisia" and an 11 ½ minute version of "Half Nelson," coming up with some surprising twists and plenty of viable ideas. A fine effort. © Scott Yanow /TiVo

Bebop - Released August 24, 2007 | HighNote Records

Frank Morgan's final release while still alive stands as a testament to his gentle, unassuming soul, his fluid drive playing the bop music born from the seeds and stems germinated by Charlie Parker, and his ability to touch a live audience with music. This third volume of club dates at the Jazz Standard in New York City falls along the lines of the previous issues, with pianist George Cables, bassist Curtis Lundy, and drummer Billy Hart in capable, empathetic, and friendly support. There's nothing new or earth-shattering about the six standards and bop chestnuts heard here, but the pure love injected by Morgan, well into his seventies, is as heartwarming as it is impressive. Morgan may miss a note here or there, as on the intro number, Parker's tricky "Confirmation," but that's nitpicking. It seems his ideas flow for days and weeks instead of the eight- to ten-minute average tune he interprets. The alto sax master is truly involved with these melodies and plays them in an unhurried fashion, but seemingly can't wait to start his solos, where he truly is a master of the art. Cables provides good energy and a salacious wit, not to mention monster chops and a highly advanced harmonic chordal approach. There's a vocal quality to "Half Nelson" that can't be denied, as Morgan is literally singing through his horn, and he uses unique slightly staggered phrasings, reflective of his laid-back personality, during "Hot House." Where everyone has done "On Green Dolphin Street" to death, Morgan renders a thin interpretation, playing to and hinting at the changes simultaneously. And when he performs "Billie's Bounce," he hits the melody running and never lets up. It's hard to choose between any of the three volumes; they're all equally good, and reflect how truly talented Morgan remained even after many concerns about his health, his drug addiction, and his full embrace of the gypsy travelin' man jazz lifestyle. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo

Gospel - Released March 31, 2014 | Frank Morgan