These 26 sides originally issued under the name of trumpeter Joe Morris have a lot going for them, but the main reason to get yourself a copy of this disc and play it really loud for the entire neighborhood is the continued presence of young Johnny Griffin blowing tenor sax like there's no tomorrow. On six sides cut for the Manor label in 1946, Griff cuts up in the manner of Lockjaw Davis, hammering away with abandon. Although the adventuresome electric guitarist is unidentified, he sounds like he might be George Freeman, who was present on the Atlantic sessions of December 1947. Here the bop element has set in a bit further, mingling powerfully with the R&B energies. Morris sings once in a while, scatting almost alarmingly on the rowdy opus simply called "Wow" and screaming like a banshee at the beginning of "Applejack." Beginning in September of 1948 the jazz players really start to file in -- Elmo Hope, Percy Heath, and Philly Joe Jones -- and every early modern jazz enthusiast will want to dive in and paddle around in these old Atlantic and Decca recordings. Check out Philly Joe's percussion and Griff's inspired improvising on "Tia Juana." Joe Morris blew fine trumpet and was a capable vocalist, but what makes this reissue so exciting is the presence of Johnny Griffin and a small pack of guys who were each getting ready to revolutionize the art of jazz.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf