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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Tonight's Blue Note: Lee Morgan - The Sidewinder

Lee Morgan (trumpet); Joe Henderson (tenor); Barry Harris (piano); Bob Cranshaw (bass); Billy Higgins (drums).

Reputed to be the best selling Blue Note album up to 1964 and, for all we know, it possibly still is. The title track also charted as a single the funky groove a natural for the jukebox/disco market and tailor made for shaking your nether regions about. The solos are pretty good too.

Despite this success, I suspect that the other tracks hold more lasting interest for the jazzophile. Totem Pole has Morgan in fine form matched all the way by Henderson - the two really were a well matched pair and what about Barry Harris? One of the greats who is still around. This brings back fond memories of hearing him at Pizza Express a few years ago. Billy Higgins drives intuitively catching the constantly shifting moods of the piece which, like all five tracks is a Morgan original.

Gary's Notebook - inspired by a friend of Lee's who apparently was forever doodling. "A basic guy but kind of deep" is how the trumpet player described his friend. It's a blues and maybe it is kind of deep but in the nicest possible way. 

Boy What a Night - a funky 12/8 blues - Henderson is incredible not least in his entry where he plays the same note about 12 times and yet manages to make each one sound different! Talking about making an explosive entry, Morgan's near enough matches his famed one on The Messengers' Moanin' that Russell has mentioned elsewhere.

Hocus Pocus - Harris informed Morgan (the composer) that the changes were near enough the same as Mean to Me. A straight ahead swinger. I'm sure Cranshaw would be on double bass but it sounds like bass guitar to me. Whatever, he does the business.
Lance

1 comment :

Steve T said...

The title track was one of the dodgiest of all the jazz tracks played on the UK's Acid Jazz dance scene of the eighties and nineties.
As you know, Blue Note went big on jazz-funk in the seventies and it was said that Blackbyrd then Ronnie Laws' Pressure Sensitive were the biggest selling albums on the label.

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