Byron Morris / Byron Morris & Unity

Live! At the East Coast Jazz Festival

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Live! At the East Coast Jazz Festival -- the second CD from Byron Morris' By-Mor label -- is quite different from Vibrations in Time. While Vibrations was a collection of modal recordings that Morris' group Unity had recorded in the '70s, this CD is a more conventional hard bop/post-bop offering that has its share of well-known jazz standards. For the live gig heard on this disc, Morris stuck to the alto sax and led a Unity lineup that included Eddie Allen on trumpet, Gerald Reid on trombone, Bob Butta or the late Maria Rodriguez on piano, Pete Gonzales on bass, and Lenny Robinson on drums. The group's set ranges from enjoyable versions of Benny Carter's "When Lights Are Low," Thelonious Monk's "Monk's Mood," and Miles Davis' "Seven Steps to Heaven" to "Panamanian Aire," a post-bop piece that Unity first recorded in the '70s. If you had to choose between Vibrations and Live!, Vibrations would be the better choice -- the performances are more risk-taking and exploratory. Nonetheless, this is a solid, pleasing effort that should make Morris proud.

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