Lee Morgan: Whisper Not

Volume 2: Sextet features the first studio recording of Benny Golson's "Whisper Not," which is considered by many to be the highlight of Lee Morgan's second Blue Note release. At the age of 18, Morgan delivers a strong performance. While it's clear his roots in bebop are well developed, Morgan also shows great taste with his mature sense of time and the ability to implement catchy hooks in his playing, including a quote of "Pop Goes the Weasel." Morgan's solo is followed by the even younger Kenny Rodgers on alto, and tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, who will collaborate with Morgan frequently throughout his career. After a solo from Jazz Messengers pianist Horace Silver, this memorable hard-bop recording ends with a shout chorus that leads the sextet back into the final statement of Golson's now-famous melody.

March 31, 2009 · 0 comments


Roy Hargrove: Whisper Not

This 1989 recording has the distinct sound of the best 1960s Blue Note albums featuring such trumpeters as Lee Morgan, Blue Mitchell, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw. Here Roy Hargrove takes flight in the vehicle of Benny Golson's "Whisper Not," ably assisted by the swinging and tonally pure Antonio Hart in a most impressive fusillade of sound. Al Foster's driving drums keep the pace with Scott Coley's bass and John Hicks's piano comping behind the soloists during these soaring forays into nostalgia. Hicks plays a sweet extended solo, its interesting directional pull deftly picked up by Foster. The tandem of Hargrove and Hart voicing simultaneously and in perfect sync is reminiscent of the finest Blue Note players in their heyday. A nice respectful bow to the past with its own distinctive voice.

May 03, 2008 · 0 comments


Roger Kellaway: Killer Joe

Dedicated to Oscar Peterson's 1950s drummerless trios, Roger Kellaway's 2006 CD Heroes also by implication pays homage to the King Cole Trio, which pioneered the piano/guitar/bass coterie in 1937. We should immediately reassure law-&-order types, however, that the title of Benny Golson's "Killer Joe," first vamped by The Jazztet in 1960 and covered to hit effect by Quincy Jones in 1969, is a misnomer. Counselor Golson's opening recitative on the original track identifies Killer Joe merely as a ne'er-do-well ladies' man and smalltime gambler. There's no evidence that Joe is a hardcore criminal. Even so, he's obviously not someone you'd want hanging around the local schoolyard. Unless, that is, he's escorted by parole officer Kellaway with two husky deputies on guitar and bass. In that case, even the kiddies will dig this arresting (ouch!) evidence, which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that, after a 70-year stretch, Nat Cole's instrumentation still sounds as copasetic as the day it was arraigned.

February 25, 2008 · 0 comments


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