This blog covers the music I play on my Live365 station: Jazz Note NSU. It is devoted to hard bop and avant garde jazz. Here I confess my faith: the center of genius in modern music is jazz; the center of genius in jazz is hard bop, and especially the body of music produced between the early 50's and the mid-60's. And at the center of it all is Miles Davis. This blog is especially aimed at readers who want to build a serious jazz library.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
For some reason I am in a Lee Morgan mood tonight. I have mentioned Morgan occasionally, but I don't think I have devoted a post to him. High time, squire! I got to know Morgan mostly from his work with the Jazz Messengers. I am very fond of his most popular album, Sidewinder, but I have said that Search for the New Land was his magnum opus. The Gigolo, an attempt to repeat the commercial success of Sidewinder, is worth a listen, as is Candy. I can also recommend The Young Lions.
Whenever I think of Morgan, I think of two things. One is that he recommend Wayne Shorter as a replacement for Benny Golson when Golson left the Messengers. That, I think, was a great contribution to modern jazz. The second thing is that Morgan's girlfriend/wife shot him through the heart at Slugg's jazz club in NYC in 1972. Morgan was 33. I wonder if she ever had any idea what she was putting a bullet into the heart of?
Morgan was a bit frustrated about his great success with Sidewinder. He thought his best work at the time was on Grachan Moncur III's Evolution. I concur. I blogged about Moncur recently. Having listened to a lot of Morgan tonight, his work on Evolution is more serious. Here is a sample: