Friday, March 18, 2011

Lee Morgan - Delightfulee

Blue Note's continuing re-release of its Lee Morgan catalogue has produced a major find. Four of the tracks, recorded at the later May 27th session, had the following line up: Lee Morgan (trumpet) Joe Henderson (tenor sax) McCoy Tyner (piano) Bob Cranshaw (bass), Billy Higgins (drums). That's the line up for "The Sidewinder" "– with McCoy Tyner replacing Barry Harris on piano. Those four tracks ("Nite-Flite", "Zambia", "The Delightful Deggie" and "Ca-Lee-So", all Lee Morgan compositions) are every bit as strong as the playing on "The Sidewinder". The inventive partnership with Joe Henderson is really firing, resulting in great music to stand alongside their collaboration on "The Sidewinder" and "Mode For Joe". It is also revealing to hear more of the Joe Henderson/McCoy Tyner/Bob Cranshaw collaboration that graced "Inner Urge". Strong, approachable hard bop and very highly recommended.

The remainder of the album features a 10 man ensemble (Lee Morgan, Ernie Royal (trumpets) Tom McIntosh (trombone) Jim Buffington (french horn) Don Butterfield (tuba) Phil Woods (alto sax, flute) Wayne Shorter (tenor sax) Danny Bank (baritone sax , bass clarinet, flute) McCoy Tyner (piano) Bob Cranshaw (bass) Philly Joe Jones (drums). This ambitious music, with arrangements by Oliver Nelson, was recorded at the earlier April 8th session. "Sunrise, Sunset" features important solos by Wayne Shorter and Lee Morgan, both full of invention and surprise. McCoy Tyner is characteristically fluent throughout. There are further versions of "Zambia" and "The Delightful Deggie" but with the setting now expanded to take in the increased tonal range of the larger ensemble, there is no hint of repetition with Oliver Nelson delivering "Blues and The Abstract Truth" – like dynamics. The only disappointing track is "Yesterday" (a seemingly hastily conceived take on the Lennon / McCartney tune). The larger ensemble has less immediate impact than the Joe Henderson/McCoy Tyner sessions but becomes more involving on closer listening.

Overall, a major re-discovery that benefits from the excellently judged remastering of Rudy Van Gelder. Review from


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