Re-release date: August 28th 2007
Original release date: 1957
Starting at age just 18, trumpet prodigy Lee Morgan produced five albums as leader for Blue Note in just two years (as well as at this time appearing as sideman on such great albums for the label as John Coltrane's "Blue Train" and Jimmy Smith's "The Sermon!"). Many of Lee Morgan's early Blue Notes have been unavailable, so it is timely that the label is now re-mastering and re-releasing most of this music.
Going only by the title "Volume 2", this ambitious sextet session followed Lee Morgan's 1956 debut with the label "Lee Morgan Indeed!" (to be re-released September 2007). It features compositions and arrangements by Benny Golson ("Latin Hangover", "Whisper Not", "Slightly Hep" and "Where Am I?") and Owen Marshall ("His Sister" and "D's Funk") played by a very able line-up (Lee Morgan (trumpet), Hank Mobley (tenor sax), Kenny Rodgers (alto sax), Horace Silver (piano), Paul Chambers (bass) and Charlie Persip (drums))
The first recording of Benny Golson's "Whisper Not" has Lee Morgan on muted trumpet over an open and fluid accompaniment that strays into the same territory perhaps as "Blue Train". "Latin Hangover" and "Slightly Hep" are intelligent and pacy post bop showing off Lee Morgan's almost flawless technique. The ballad "Where Am I?" is the only failure amongst the Benny Golson compositions and arrangements, demonstrating that the young Lee Morgan had not yet mastered the difference between lyricism and sentimentality.
Owen Marshall, now not anything like as much remembered as the other actors here provides "D's Funk" and "His Sister" which seem tailor made for Horace Silver and the rhythm section to develop the kind of deep grooves that would sustain the Jazz Messengers and Horace Silver's own bands for years to come.
Overall this and the other newly re-released Lee Morgan albums are a very welcome addition to the trumpeter's legacy.
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Complete Lee Morgan discography
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