Look for the New Land @ All About Jazz album review


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Lee Morgan
Seek the New Earth
Blue Note / Music Matters
2009 (1964)

Backed by what may have been his most decidedly modern band, trumpeter Lee Morgan has indeed embarked on an exploratory quest in this sequel to his hard bop gem, The Sidewinder (Blue Note, 1964). The title track, which launches the album, is more in tune with the music of the saxophonist

John Coltrane
John Coltrane

1926 – 1967

“data-original-title=”” title=””>John Coltrane was doing at the time – a witty, meditative piece broken up into classic-type moves, rather than one of the hard bop solo vehicles Morgan was known for. And while those up-tempo grooves are also present on To research– namely in the invigorating second track, “The Joker”, and the closer, somewhat less successful, “Morgan the Pirate” – the impression of the album as a whole is one of drift and discovery, celebrating from a perspective of self-actualization (or the attempt at such) rather than as part of a nightclub party.

“Search for the New Land” opens with an outer dimensional trill of

Grant green
Grant green

1935 – 1979

“data-original-title=”” title=””>Grant greenguitar and drummer

Billy Higgin
Billy Higgin

1936 – 2001

“data-original-title=”” title=””>Billy Higgin‘ cymbals, a duo that resurfaces throughout the piece. The tragic, anthemic, yet exhilarating horn theme blown by Morgan and the saxophonist

Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter

born in 1933

“data-original-title=”” title=””>Wayne Shorter adds purpose to the echoing waves of Green and Higgins, placing humanity’s intelligence, desire and desire at the top of the waves to reach unknown and distant possibilities. The music stops to be awakened after a space by

Reggie Worker

“data-original-title=”” title=””>Reggie Workeris the bass. This device will be repeated four more times throughout the piece, separating it for the soloists – Shorter, Morgan, Green and the pianist

Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock

born in 1940

“data-original-title=”” title=””>Herbie Hancockin that order – again, giving the music the quality and gravitas of movement as opposed to a continuous line of solo jazz choruses.

The disparity in Shorter’s and Morgan’s approaches is immediately apparent, with Shorter at the forefront of a style that ignored the linear path in favor of a style that allows for lateral exploration – to communicate and flesh out a sensation, an idea, carefree to tell a recognizable story. In this it can be said that Shorter is much of his time and, indeed, a leader and shaper of the sounds that were to emerge so distinctly of the 1960s. Morgan, on the other hand, is bright and clean, blowing hard and energetic bop school, his aggressive, frontal nature continually on display. He, the leader and king of his kingdom, is the one searching here, with Shorter and Hancock as guides leading him into the new open country where he could further his craft. This contrast of styles keeps the record intriguing from start to finish – the clash, the entanglement, shaping a new land perhaps not even sought, but, as with many inventions, stumbled upon looking for something else.

Green’s playing is also a revelation, not so much in its inventiveness or its departure from his playing elsewhere, but precisely because the tones are instantly recognizable as Green’s and yet shine with extra sparkle while being in cahoots with these particular musicians and this brand of music. His signature repeated blues figures fall somewhere between Morgan’s definitive brass hits and Shorter’s slippery gasps. Hancock is the adaptor, constantly on the move, constantly inventive in support of the disparate solo voices. When playing solo himself, he brings in echoes of the other three, reworking them into a single voice that can be shaken by his madness and incorporated as an extended dimension of his own distinctive lyricism.

While all of the album’s compositions are by Morgan, “Mr. Kenyatta,” which kicks off the third side of the two-disc 45-rpm reissue of Music Matters, could be seen as the trumpeter’s path to musical leadership. , its motivation, and a structure less reliant on light, pensive modernism than extending Morgan’s own territory of aggressive strangulation in a statement that’s still powerful, but more polished, calibrated, and slippery. “Melancholee,” his forced pun on Morgan’s name aside (how and why did puns on leaders’ names go so viral in jazz?), is another stab at the new research music. Less grandiose than the title song, it is nevertheless a moving and touching ballad, which one would not expect to find on a Morgan record, let alone find more than once.

“Morgan the Pirate” is most notable for its play – intentional or not – of role reversal, with Morgan stretching many notes of his solo, allowing his statement to slip and sag rather than be clearly articulated throughout. during. Shorter, on the contrary, triggers rapidly strung lines of well-delineated notes, setting aside its more typical ruminative character. Green, as always, is himself, though his mid-solo triplets are irresistibly launched, snapping loose electrically frayed shapes barely contained by the speakers.

It’s a shame that Morgan didn’t follow the path of this music further. The subsequent commercial success of The Sidewinder may have made such exploration less desirable in the short term. And his murder at the hands of his common-law wife, Helen More, in February 1972, made the short term and the long term one and the same, even as he once again seemed to be pushing outward (as evidenced by the 1971 Blue Note album which ended up being called The last session). However, we have in To research a shining example of the great trumpet player extending into modernist fields. It’s perhaps fitting, given the record’s exploratory tone, and its title track, in particular, that we have to imagine what might have happened next.

Tracks: Disc 1: Search for New Earth; The Joker. Disc two: Mr. Kenyatta; Melancholia; Morgan the Hacker.

Staff: Lee Morgan: trumpet; Wayne Shorter: tenor saxophone; Grant Green: guitar; Herbie Hancock: piano; Reginald Workman: bass; Billy Higgins: drums.

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Lee Morgan: trumpet.

Album Information

Title: In Search of the New Country | Release year: 2010 | Label: Blue Note Records


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