Lee Morgan

We Remember You

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This compilation of live performances by Lee Morgan were recorded nearly a decade apart. The first, from a 1962 aircheck originating at Birdland, features the trumpeter with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath, pianist Barry Harris, bassist Spanky DeBrest, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath. The opener, "Bruh Slim," showcases Morgan's imaginative use of half-valve and unique tonguing techniques. DeBrest takes the initial solo in Sonny Red's strutting blues "Bluesville," with choice solos by Harris, Jimmy Heath, and Morgan, as well. The driving "All Members" is seminal hard bop, kicked off by Harris followed by terrific interplay between the tenor saxophonist and the trumpeter. The later recording, from January 1972, is evidently Morgan's last documented performance before he was shot to death outside a Philadelphia nightclub the following month. Pianist Harold Mabern, Billy Harper, (doubling on tenor sax and flute), bassist Jymie Merritt, and drummer Freddie Waitts join Morgan. "I Remember Britt" is a somewhat obscure but attractive composition by Mabern, recorded several times by Morgan for Blue Note in 1970 during a series of gigs at the Lighthouse but unreleased until long after his death. Merritt contributed "Angela" (dedicated to the outspoken Angela Davis), though the piece is hardly as turbulent as this radical professor's public persona. A brief, incomplete rendition of Morgan's huge hit "The Sidewinder," which fades near the start of Mabern's solo, closes the book on the trumpeter's career. The sound of this CD is a bit rough in spots, though still enjoyable.

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