Cliff Englewood

Lee Morgan: The Last Session

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this LP was one of my earliest jazz purchases, and my introduction to Billy Harper and "Capra Black", which I just kept replaying over and over.  Great album.  Even Bobbi Humphrey works OK on it.

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An intriguing indication as to where Morgan’s music might have gone, had he lived.  Big fan of this session here !

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Played it tonight and it's far better than I recalled. If you forget that it's Lee and dismiss expectations of another Sidewinder like album it's very strong. I recall when I first heard being disappointed there was no boogaloo but once I'd got past that....

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On 9/29/2005 at 10:43 AM, clifford_thornton said:

Yes, that is one of my favorite of Lee Morgan's records - "Lee is Free," indeed. It does show a vibe that would become more solid with records on Strata-East, Tribe and the like in a few years, but it's a little ragtag here and more exploratory. "Capra Black" is a motherfucker of a tune, to say the least.

 

:tup

Yup, would've made good sense for Lee to transition to these labels. They cater to artists that have the insight to transition, but on the artist's terms, at least from an outsider's point of view.

Edited by Holy Ghost

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Or, in a different - yet not implausible - world, those artists would have transitioned over to Blue Note.

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Well in 2005 my grasp was a little less clear. Strata-East would have made sense. Tribe not so much, since it was localized to Detroit and environs.

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On 7/14/2007 at 1:03 PM, mikeweil said:

Every time I pull this CD I get mad that Bob Belden mixed out the saw solo ..... Glad I kept the LP!

 

On 4/28/2018 at 4:09 PM, Rooster_Ties said:

I don't think I've ever heard that saw solo before, though it vaguely rings a bell. Is there a version uploaded to YouTube by any chance?  (I can't remember which tune it's in, let alone where in the tune it falls.)

Great news, gentlemen! The 75th anniversary SHM-CD from 2014 (TYCJ-81075) contains the saw solo! (I compared with Mike's YouTube clip.)

PS This reissue from 2017 probably contains the same mastering: http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/product/UCCQ-3010?s_ssid=e37f265af32bb5c4dc

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On 4/28/2018 at 10:14 AM, mikeweil said:

 

The saw solo starts after 12:00

While I am not a fan of this saw solo, the version on the US CD with it edited out sounds stupid without it. If they wanted to edit it out, just cut the whole section.

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This is a great session.  Really glad I picked it up way back when, especially since Spotify doesn’t have it.

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Going to pull it out right now for a fresh listen after seeing this thread pop up again.  Any word on whether or not the forthcoming Mosaic set will include it?  I haven't really seen (or else I've missed) what the parameters are going to be for that set, as to whether or not it will start with Lee-way or The Sidewinder, and whether it goes just to the end of the 1960s (which would mean concluding with Caramba, correct?), or if it will extend through this album instead. 

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I don't want Dan Gould to be so lonely, so I felt the need to agree with his negative view of this session.

My collection of Lee Morgan albums is extensive. This is one of the very few that I did not care for.

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9 minutes ago, Peter Friedman said:

I don't want Dan Gould to be so lonely, so I felt the need to agree with his negative view of this session.

My collection of Lee Morgan albums is extensive. This is one of the very few that I did not care for.

:g

I am not even 100% sure I really parted with it or not; when I am back home if I find it maybe I'll give another listen and reconsider. Who knows maybe Peter will be the lonely one now. :)

 

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21 minutes ago, Peter Friedman said:

I don't want Dan Gould to be so lonely, so I felt the need to agree with his negative view of this session.

My collection of Lee Morgan albums is extensive. This is one of the very few that I did not care for.

It's very different from any other Morgan session, a new direction.  I've loved it for almost 50 years, understand that tastes and mileage vary.   Wore out "Capra Black" from playing it so many times.

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Yeah tastes differ of course but almost can’t believe one not liking this session. I own every Blue Note by Morgan but this one is definitely among my favorites. The version of Capra Black is mind blowing, maybe even better than on Harper’s own masterpiece. 

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5 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

Going to pull it out right now for a fresh listen after seeing this thread pop up again.  Any word on whether or not the forthcoming Mosaic set will include it?  I haven't really seen (or else I've missed) what the parameters are going to be for that set, as to whether or not it will start with Lee-way or The Sidewinder, and whether it goes just to the end of the 1960s (which would mean concluding with Caramba, correct?), or if it will extend through this album instead. 

Forthcoming Mosaic set?  :excited:

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28 minutes ago, Eric said:

Forthcoming Mosaic set?  :excited:

Yep, although there's apparently a bit of a hold on it right now for an unspecified reason. But Scott says Michael definitely still wants to proceed with it.  

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I'm also not a big fan of this session.  It's of its time: long, unfocused tracks, lots of modal tunes (IIRC), intensity at the expense of relaxedness and humor.  I have the 2014 Japanese release, which I guess has the saw solo - I don't remember it, but probably also chalked it up to its being "of its time."  

When I saw The Cookers here in Houston a few years ago, David Weiss took pains to introduce Billy Harper as being from Houston and also the composer of Croquet Ballet.  He was surprised there wasn't a huge roar of recognition when he mentioned the title.

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4 hours ago, Pim said:

The version of Capra Black is mind blowing, maybe even better than on Harper’s own masterpiece. 

Yep.

And imo this Morgan record works a lot better as an LP than as a CD.

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Yep.

And imo this Morgan record works a lot better as an LP than as a CD.

4 distinct sides with 3 or 4 distinct mood?

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Yeah, I like how you can just let one sink in for a while, or get right back into it, or just entirely skip over the side where Bobbi Humphrey has too much room, shit like that. LP-style flexibility of experience options.

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I played this one recently on Spotify and it sounds mighty fine. I also listened through that 3CD live-set Lighthouse and it was almost as good

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Listened all the way through it yesterday for the first time in many years and yeah, there’s an accumulating sense of murky drift that puts me in agreement with Jim that it might be better experienced  in LP-side helpings. I think I like the Lighthouse sessions better. But I would have loved to have heard Lee refine what he was up to on the final studio album. It did seem to announce a clear break from the retread groove he’d gotten into on some of the later 60s Blue Note records. I mean, I *love* Lee... even hearing him in less-than-inspired form is still pleasing. Interesting to think about where he would have gone... what if he’d moved to CTI or Columbia later in the 70s? (That could have been good, bad, or both! :g

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41 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

what if he’d moved to CTI or Columbia later in the 70s? (That could have been good, bad, or both! :g

Likely both - see Hubbard, Freddie for reference.   But you're right, he couldn't just keep churning out the same Blue Note standard set without diminishing returns.  To me, this Lee Morgan album is the announcement of Billy Harper as a major force, everything else about it falls into line after that.

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Lee on CTI or George Butler Columbia? How many mobsters were managing him anyway?

If the answer is "0", then watch him move to Strata-East...what happens after that, given the ongoing evolution of that label's business model is anybody's guess and maybe doesn't end well. But you never know, and besides, what's done is done.

 

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59 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Lee on CTI or George Butler Columbia? How many mobsters were managing him anyway?

If the answer is "0", then watch him move to Strata-East...what happens after that, given the ongoing evolution of that label's business model is anybody's guess and maybe doesn't end well. But you never know, and besides, what's done is done.

 

Can't see him on Strata-East for any number of non-music reasons.  Guys like Tolliver, Cowell, and Harper have always seemed to have their personal acts together, and Strata-East was "musician owned and run".  None of that sounds like Morgan.

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