Lee Morgan produced what is arguably the most solid body of hard bop work during his '60s run at Blue Note. Full of his assured and varied trumpet work, sympathetic backing, and plenty of fetching originals, Morgan's many albums for the label -- The Sidewinder, Cornbread, The Procrastinator, Taru, and more -- are jazz classics, whatever era you may consider. Unfortunately, the trumpeter's fertile output has yet to be given the extensive retrospective it deserves (beyond the few sampler discs available, there's need for a two- or three-disc set covering his entire career from the late '50s up through the early '70s). This Blue Break Beats installment is no exception. And while the material is fine -- especially the soul groove masterpiece "The Sidewinder" and the Latin-tinged "Caramba" -- the breakbeat theme certainly could be better served by more than just 40 minutes of music, especially considering Morgan cut a wealth of these boogaloo grooves. Still, with excellent contributions by tenor saxophonists Bennie Maupin and Hank Mobley, pianists McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock, and drummer extraordinaire Billy Higgins sweetening the pot, it's certainly not a dud by any stretch. So, if this disc provides you with that first taste of Morgan's work, that's fine. But be forewarned: you might soon find yourself rabidly searching the jazz bins for all things delightful Lee Morgan.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook