Herbert Morgan

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While only a few jazz listeners seem to be aware of this talented individual, there is a choice of three names to have not heard of him by: Herbie Morgan, Herbert Morgan, and Rahman Herbie Morgan. His…
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While only a few jazz listeners seem to be aware of this talented individual, there is a choice of three names to have not heard of him by: Herbie Morgan, Herbert Morgan, and Rahman Herbie Morgan. His loyalty to the city of Newark is most likely what has kept him out of the international jazz limelight, although at the same time proximity to New York City has meant Morgan's meaningful music has upon occasion been heard by the right audience at the right time. If a player's talents are to be judged by the people who seek him out, then Morgan rates highly indeed, playing on some of organist Larry Young's marvelous albums in the '60s and rousing spirits in the new millennium alongside jazz poet Amiri Baraka.

It is in the former context that the adventurous jazz fan most likely hears the big sound of Morgan's tenor. Young's short career and smallish discography were packed with incendiary music, an example of jazz fusion at its best and the type of playing that arouses intense curiosity about every name listed in the liner notes. In the '70s Morgan spent some time in the horn section of the Latin jazz group Ocho. At the 2004 Vision Festival in New York City, Morgan performed as part of a Baraka ensemble project called Blue Ark: the Wordship. Other members included the superb percussionist Pheeroan akLaff and pianist Vijay Iyer.