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Jazz - Released September 8, 1965 | Blue Note (BLU)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Jazz - Released July 1, 1964 | Blue Note

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released February 15, 1964 | Blue Note Records

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
This set (the CD reissue is a duplicate of the original LP) is one of the finest Lee Morgan records. The great trumpeter contributes five challenging compositions ("Search for the New Land," "The Joker," "Mr. Kenyatta," "Melancholee," and "Morgan the Pirate") that deserve to be revived. Morgan, tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, guitarist Grant Green, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Billy Higgins are all in particularly creative form on the fresh material, and they stretch the boundaries of hard bop (the modern mainstream jazz of the period). The result is a consistently stimulating set that rewards repeated listenings. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Carried by its almost impossibly infectious eponymous opening track, The Sidewinder helped foreshadow the sounds of boogaloo and soul-jazz with its healthy R&B influence and Latin tinge. While the rest of the album retreats to a more conventional hard bop sound, Morgan's compositions are forward-thinking and universally solid. Only 25 at the time of its release, Morgan was accomplished (and perhaps cocky) enough to speak of mentoring the great Joe Henderson, who at 26 was just beginning to play dates with Blue Note after getting out of the military. Henderson makes a major contribution to the album, especially on "Totem Pole," where his solos showed off his singular style, threatening to upstage Morgan, who is also fairly impressive here. Barry Harris, Bob Cranshaw, and Billy Higgins are all in good form throughout the album as well, and the group works together seamlessly to create an album that crackles with energy while maintaining a stylish flow. © Stacia Proefrock /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 30, 2021 | Blue Note

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Jazz - Released September 8, 1965 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Blue Note Records

Curious listeners who encounter Lee Morgan for the first time through this single-disc anthology will come away mightily impressed, even inspired, but they will be hearing only the first part of the story. The album picks up on his teenage whiz kid days circa 1957, then jumps ahead to his renaissance in 1963-1965 as the high priest of hard bop boogaloo. Besides showcasing Morgan's brash, crackling, infinitely expressive trumpet playing, the album does a good job of emphasizing his abundant, still-underrated gifts as a composer -- with "The Sidewinder," of course, but also the strikingly lovely bossa nova "Ceora" and the near standard "Speedball." With its three bonus tracks, "I Remember Clifford," "Cornbread," and especially "Mr. Kenyatta," the CD version adds compelling corroborating evidence of Morgan's originality. The major hang-up, alas, is that the album cuts off the time line at 1965, thus leaving out Morgan's gradual move away from boilerplate hard bop toward modal, progressive explorations that reached an exciting peak on 1970's Live at the Lighthouse. The selections included here will no doubt satisfy those who would want to keep this tremendous talent locked into a single airtight box -- and frankly, it would be difficult to dispute any of the choices on their own terms. But the rest of Morgan's tragically aborted evolution deserves representation on a set like this. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 18, 1957 | Blue Note

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Recorded when he was only 19, Candy was one of the first albums (along with The Cooker, recorded the same year) where Lee Morgan showed his own unique style. His prodigal technical virtuosity had already been proven at this time in the Dizzy Gilliespie band, but Morgan's first solo ventures had been remarkable only because of his young age. Here, the influence of some of Morgan's mentors can be seen, but instead of just emulating the style of older trumpeters like Clifford Brown, he has begun absorbing bits and pieces of the phrasing and style of a wide range of musicians, from Gillespie to Miles Davis, then using them to forge his own sound. Morgan places himself front and center here -- there are no other horns to carry the melodic lines, leaving him quite exposed, but he manages to perform beautifully. Not merely a technical marvel, his tone on this album was sweet and his playing fluid, infused with joy and crisply articulated emotion. Morgan would later turn out to be an expert songwriter, but here songs like Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell for You," and Jimmy Heath's "C.T.A." gave him ample space to show off his talents. © Stacia Proefrock /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1996 | Blue Note Records

This three-CD set from Blue Note expands trumpeter Lee Morgan's original two-LP set from four selections to 12. Morgan's music had become much more modal by this time, heavily influenced by John Coltrane, although some of the previously unissued numbers (including a remake of his popular "The Sidewinder") are a bit more straight-ahead. Bennie Maupin (on tenor, bass clarinet, and flute) is in peak form and the rhythm section (pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Jymie Merritt, and drummer Mickey Roker) is alert and creative. All of the songs are group originals, including two by Morgan (on his "Speedball," Jack DeJohnette sits in on drums), five by Maupin, three by Mabern, and two from Merritt. Stimulating and frequently exciting music from late in Lee Morgan's short life. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 29, 1957 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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The trumpeter, then just 19, teams up with baritonist Pepper Adams, pianist Bobby Timmons, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones for a particularly strong set that is highlighted by a lengthy and fiery "Night in Tunisia," "Lover Man" and a rapid rendition of "Just One of Those Things." Morgan plays remarkably well for his age (already ranking just below Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis), making this an essential acquisition. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1965 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Lee Morgan was the leading trumpeter in hard bop during the 1960s and he recorded quite a few classic albums for Blue Note. This is one of them. The CD reissue (which adds an alternate take of the title cut to the original five-song program) features Morgan at his best, whether playing his memorable blues "Speed Ball," an explorative ballad version of "You Go to My Head," a lengthy "The Gigolo," or his other two originals ("Yes I Can, No You Can't" and "Trapped"). There are no weak selections on this set and the playing by the leader, Wayne Shorter on tenor, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Billy Higgins is beyond any serious criticism. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 30, 2021 | Blue Note

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Jazz - Released April 21, 1965 | EMI Music Japan Inc.

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To follow up on his unexpected boogaloo hit "The Sidewinder," Lee Morgan recorded Andrew Hill's somewhat similar "The Rumproller" but this time the commercial magic was not there. However the trumpeter, tenor-saxophonist Joe Henderson, pianist Ronnie Mathews, bassist Victor Sproles and drummer Billy Higgins all play quite well on the title cut, two of Morgan's songs (the bossa nova "Eclipso" is somewhat memorable), a ballad tribute to Billie Holiday and Wayne Shorter's "Edda." This album is worth picking up but it is not essential. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1988 | Blue Note Records

This session (reissued on CD by Blue Note) is best known for introducing Lee Morgan's beautiful ballad "Ceora," but actually all five selections (which include Morgan's "Cornbread," "Our Man Higgins," "Most Like Lee," and the standard "Ill Wind") are quite memorable. The trumpeter/leader performs with a perfectly complementary group of open-minded and talented hard bop stylists (altoist Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley on tenor, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Larry Ridley, and drummer Billy Higgins) and creates a Blue Note classic that is heartily recommended. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Blue Note Records

This date was one of trumpeter Lee Morgan's more obscure Blue Note sessions, but fortunately, it has been reissued on CD. Matched with altoist Jackie McLean, pianist Bobby Timmons, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Art Blakey, Morgan interprets two of Cal Massey's compositions, McLean's "Midtown Blues" and his own blues "The Lion and the Wolf." The music is essentially hard bop with a strong dose of soul; the very distinctive styles of the principals are the main reasons to acquire this enjoyable music. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1966 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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As Lee Morgan's career moved from hard and post-bop to soul-jazz, Delightfulee serves as a further bridge in a half-and-half fashion. Four of the seven cuts feature his potent quintet with a young and emerging tenor saxophonist, Joe Henderson, as his front line mate, McCoy Tyner ever brilliant on piano, and Billy Higgins firing up the rhythm as only the drummer could. The remainder of the date consists of tracks orchestrated by Oliver Nelson featuring an 11-piece ensemble. There are two selections that feature versions of compositions with both configurations. "Zambia" is a post-bop classic in Morgan's repertoire, sporting a memorable, concise, no-nonsense melody line punctuated by Tyner's piano chords, but in big-band style, it is full and rich, maybe too much so. The easy, deep waltz "Delightful Deggie," may benefit from the orchestration. Wayne Shorter is the featured tenor on the larger group tracks, while saxophonists Danny Bank and Phil Woods (both doubling on flute, a rarity for Woods),trombonist Tom McIntosh, tuba player Don Butterfield,and French Horn icon James Buffington supply the depth. The drummer for the big-and cuts is Philly Joe Jones, and again, is quite a contrast to the smoother Higgins. Of the small ensemble cuts, the fun calypso boogaloo "Ca-Lee-So" is a postscript for Morgan's big hit "The Sidewinder," recorded three years prior. Tyner strokes out kinetic forms during "Nite Flite," and dips into deep blues for "Deggie." Morgan and Henderson's solos are always spot on. The best big-band track, "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof, is extremely hip and features a relaxed Shorter, while the worst, a somber samba take on the Beatles' "Yesterday," seems a throwaway. For some this will always be an oddball release of Morgan's, but it does suggest moving on into what would be a fruitful and successful final five years. [The RVG edition, released in 2007, features remastered sound and four bonus tracks.] © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo

Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Blue Note Records

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It is surprising that Lee Morgan's The Procrastinator was not released when it was recorded in 1967 for the sextet (which includes Wayne Shorter, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Billy Higgins) lives up to their potential on a well-rounded set of originals by Morgan and Shorter. The music ranges from the funky "Party Time" (which sounds like it could have been written by Horace Silver) to more explorative pieces. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 29, 1966 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

This long-lost Lee Morgan session was not released for the first time until it was discovered in the Blue Note vaults by Michael Cuscuna in 1984; it has still not been reissued on CD. Originals by Cal Massey, Duke Pearson ("Is That So") and Walter Davis, in addition to a couple of surprising pop tunes ("What Not My Love" and "Once in My Lifetime") and Morgan's title cut, are well-played by the quintet (which includes the trumpeter/leader, Hank Mobley on tenor, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Billy Higgins). Much of the music is reminiscent of The Jazz Messengers and that may have been the reason that it was lost in the shuffle for Morgan was soon investigating modal-oriented tunes. Despite its neglect, this is a fine session that Lee Morgan and hard bop fans will want. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 29, 1966 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

This long-lost Lee Morgan session was not released for the first time until it was discovered in the Blue Note vaults by Michael Cuscuna in 1984; it has still not been reissued on CD. Originals by Cal Massey, Duke Pearson ("Is That So") and Walter Davis, in addition to a couple of surprising pop tunes ("What Not My Love" and "Once in My Lifetime") and Morgan's title cut, are well-played by the quintet (which includes the trumpeter/leader, Hank Mobley on tenor, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Billy Higgins). Much of the music is reminiscent of The Jazz Messengers and that may have been the reason that it was lost in the shuffle for Morgan was soon investigating modal-oriented tunes. Despite its neglect, this is a fine session that Lee Morgan and hard bop fans will want. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | Blue Note Records

This set (reissued on CD in 1997) was one of trumpeter Lee Morgan's lesser-known Blue Note recordings but it is quite rewarding. The notable sextet (which also includes altoist Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley on tenor, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Billy Higgins) performs originals by Morgan, Walton and Duke Pearson, including particularly catchy versions of the funky "Hey Chico" and Pearson's memorable "Sweet Honey Bee" (which should have become a hit). The three horns, all of whom sound quite individual, each have their exciting moments, and the results are quintessential mid-'60s hard bop. © Scott Yanow /TiVo