CJ Shearn

Lee Morgan Live at the Lighthouse

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As discussed in a previous thread: Album of the week thread, we have launched the Organissimo Forums Album of the Week. Hopefull we can all spend the next week digesting this record and we can write reviews of it.

The person who picks the cd for this week will nominate the person who will pick the cd for next week.

The album of the week for April 13 - April 19 as picked by CJ Shearn is:

Lee Morgan - Live at the Lighthouse (click to buy)

___________________________________

Past albums of the week:

April 6-12: Charles Mingus - Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus

March 30- April 5: Wayne Shorter - The All Seeing Eye

March 23-29: Donald Byrd - Byrd in Hand

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CJ,

I hope you don't mind if I added the album of the week info.

Do you know who you want to nominate to pick the next album of the week for the week of April 20-26?

:rsmile:

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I'm already through disc 1, and most of disc 2. Hope to get through the whole set, maybe even twice, before the week even begins!!

I'll go ahead and say, right off, several tunes I've heard so far, are just drippin' with that whole Strata East vibe!!! Yeowww!!!!!!! :g:g:g

GREAT selection for an album-of-the-week!!!!!!!!!!

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I've had a real itch to buy this since the topic on it recently. Now it looks like I've got some more motivation. Great pick, C.J. Can't wait to hear some reviews, opinions on this.

Think I'll buy it today.... :D

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Since we discussed it in another thread, I nominate Joe G. and the PMG's "Speaking of Now" as the album for next week.

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Soul Stream,

When you buy it, make sure you have all 3 CDs. I bought it upon release, but there were two CD # 3 and no CD # 2. Tom Evered promptly sent me a replacement CD, however.

Bertrand.

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thanks bertrand, i bought it today and just checked...all 3 of the right cds. looking forward to listening....

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Got through the last of the 3 discs today (part of it twice, actually). And, I plan to spin them all, again (2nd time for each one!) by the end of the day Monday, if I can, or at least by sometime next week.

Damn good choice for an Album of the Week!!! So much to talk about. So much to think about - given what would happen to Lee so soon after these dates. Can't wait to hear everyone's thoughts on this one.

=====

By the way, since I know the topic will come up (as it has recently in other threads) -- about BN or Mosaic releasing all the other tracks recorded for this album, which would amount to something like a 6 CD set, or maybe closer to 7??... ...I'm torn...

On the one hand, I'd be all up for every alternate live version ("alternate take"), in the spirit of the Miles "Complete Plugged Nickel" set. Sure, it's a no-brainer, I *love* this material.

But, on the other hand, there are a bunch of other things I'd love to hear (and own comercial releases of), before I got to hear/own the "Complete Lighthouse Lee Morgan Sessions".

Or maybe another way of saying it is by way of an example. I would trade the lesser half of the Miles "Complete Plugged Nickel" set, in exchange for a few live Miles recordings from the 1967 shows from the European tour in late Oct. and early Nov. (which have never been released legitimately).

Or, if you like, I can state it this way: If I *had* to give up either 1) ever hearing the 3 or 4 hours of the Miles '1967' that I have heard, or 2) give up ever hearing half of the Plugged Nickel recordings... ...I'd definitely keep the 1967, and pitch half the 1965 PN stuff. I *love* the PN material, but it's not critical that I have every version of every tune recorded over those two nights. (Or at least not as critical as it is having the 1967 material too.)

Similarly, there's a bunch of other stuff I'd love to have before I'd pine day and night for the unreleased Lee Morgan "Lighthouse" alternate material. And I say this as someone who **LOVES** the Lee Morgan "Lighthouse" recordings.

( Did I beat that horse to death enough?? )

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have some work to do so I'll listen to the set more around the last 3 of 4 days it's AotW, but here are some thoughts so far on the music from listening to the set initially a few weeks ago. Bennie Maupin is one of the things that makes this set, his solos are consistently interesting and take the music into very risky, free territory, he is also an excellent composer as "Peyote", "Something Like This" and "Nommo" demonstrate. Jack DeJohnette's inclinations towards free playing take Bennie's solo on "Speedball" and the tune itself to new places Jack's ability to play around with the time, and other things make it a great performance. Also on this set, even though the music sounds in a different direction than most of what was going on in the 70's, tunes like "The Beehive" almost predate to me the kind of things young lions would do in the 80's. The music is also under the influence of Miles' 60's quintet, especially how the soloists (Maupin on "Absolutions") relate back the melody of the tunes in their solos. Also, the latin tunes on the set seem to be a hint that Lee may have wanted to pursue that direction had he lived.

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More music I would have been unlikely to pull from my shelves without this topic. Thanks for the suggestion.

The later Morgan sessions are not his most enjoyable for me. For that I go back to 1957, listen to "Dishwater" on Dizzy Atmosphere for example to see what I mean, where Lee is full of youthful enthusiasm and the joy of life. Nevertheless the Lighthouse set is hugely enjoyable and exciting with the focus on the horns. Apart from one or two moments on the longer pieces where ideas seem to be hard to come by there is some very fine playing here. The closing "Sidewinder is especially effective and rounds the set of in fine style. Maupin sounds particularly impressive to me on this play through.

The compositions which include Lee's splendid "Speedball" as well as "The Sidewinder" are all originals by band members (only Roker doesn't get a composer credit) are above average and give variety to the date and contribute to it's success.

For me then it's not the very best of Morgan but it is a fine, in some places excellent, example of his playing at the time. It's also a great document of a tight working band playing live in club situation. The audience must have had a great time. The pictures of Lee on the inserts are rather nice too.

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In good form or not, I think Morgan's playing relies a lot less on licks on the Lighthouse sessions than on any of his studio sessions from the second half of the 60s. Perhaps the hard bop formula applied to all but his last studio album had begun to bore him.

Here's a different opinion of Mabern: I always thought of his playing as a bit too "four-square" for the rest of this band.

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interesting thought that Morgan seems lost on "Nommo". When he has that cadenza towards the end his solo, whereas Maupin took it out, Lee's bluesy ideas a la the classic "Tunisia" turn don't really fit. Anyone else thinthat if Jack DeJohnette sat in on more tracks the music probably would get considerably more out? cuz I mean that "Speedball" take goes into to me, unusual territory for Lee.

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Bennie Maupin is one of the things that makes this set, his solos are consistently interesting and take the music into very risky, free territory, he is also an excellent composer as "Peyote", "Something Like This" and "Nommo" demonstrate.

A minor correction, "Nommo" was written by Jymie Merritt, and was issued on Max Roach's "Drums Unlimited".

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thanks Cali, that's right. Merritt did write "Nommo". Anyway, after finishing disc 2 tonight (will hit disc 3, the final disc tomm) It seems to me that rather than Morgan being completely off and uncomfortable on this material, he takes a different approach on "Nommo" as does Mabern. Whereas Bennie's solo takes the tune into another place, I see Lee and Harold reconnecting it with it's bluesy roots. Although as I said in another post, Lee's cadenza portion seems a bit odd. "Neophilia" is a great tune, Maupin's bass clarinet work is astounding, bursting with feeling and rocketing into higher registers in later choruses, the darkness of the reed instrument reminds me of the tones he'd get on "Vein Melter" with Herbie. Lee sounds comfortable on this tune, the rhythm section, particular Roker add some tasty commentary. Freddie Hubbard's influence shows up here in Lee, especially with his rapid trilling, so there was definitely development since the late 50's, early 60's. "Something Like This" is a cool little latin tune, does anyone know the form? I was thinking it was ABC or AB something the theme is unsually long. And the "Frere Jacque" to open "I Remember Britt" is pretty funny. Lee sounds very regal in the intro. Overall from thre first 2 discs thus far, I think disc 1 gets the edge chops wise for Lee being able to execute ideas in a cleaner fashion but like one poster said earlier his playing is less lick oriented and you can hear him searching and stretching himself even if the ideas don't always come out in the best way. There have been some comparisons here between this and Miles' Plugged Nickel (which I haven't heard but plan to get sometime soon) and while this set doesn't have the players or the innovations that positioned it in jazz history I think it shows two quintets, both trumpet led, with fine players developing and exploring material on the spot with exciting results. Both feature trumpeters in recovery from chops problems and tenor sax players who are eager at every opportunity to rip up whatever is put in their way. This is in some ways Lee Morgan's Plugged Nickel.

Edited by CJ Shearn

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I have the double LP with four tunes, Absolutions, Beehive, Neophilia and Nommo. Due to a busy week, I've only had a chance to listen to it once all the way through.

My overall impression is that it's a decent, if not great Morgan album. You have to give the band credit for exploring some new tunes and new musical areas even if everything doesn't quite come off. I think the first two tunes are generally more successful than the latter two. Lee seems more focussed and fiery and I think the band comes together better on these tunes.

Neophilia is a great tune, though I am not as impressed with Maupin's bass clarinet work as others may be. His tenor playing on the other tunes is very strong, however, and to me he may be the most impressive soloist. I am a Mabern fan, and I think he plays well here. Though I don't have really have an "ear" for this, I wonder if the piano is a bit out-of-tune. I don't think Nommo is a totally settled performance, but given its rhythmic pattern, maybe it's not supposed to be. It still is an excellent tune.

Anyway, I'm glad I had a chance to listen to this one again. Probably not my favorite Morgan recording, but generally very enjoyable.

3 and 1/2 stars.

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I agree about Maupin as the most impressive soloist. Mabern I think is solid but not spectacular. His best solos for me come on "Peyote", "416 East 10th Street" and "The Sidewinder", on disc 3 for this rendition everyone is inspired. Maupin gets the crowd going with a long segment of trilling, and Morgan gets loose. Any more thoughts before this expires as AotW?. I haven't been keeping up on the future recommendations thread, but I nominate Joe G. for Pat Metheny's "Speaking of Now" since it was a subject on a thread about his upcoming disc. Overall Live At the Lighthouse is a satisfying listen and a chance to hear Lee Morgan stretching himself, wondering "what if?" had he lived.

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Just went through disk 3 and found "The Sidewinder" inspiring. It's a really cooking version of this tune and a much different feel than the original, for sure. Just after Mabern's solo at the 9 minute mark they go into this vamp that just takes the whole thing to another level for about a minute.

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I just unpacked my copy (I know it's a little late) and I've been able to listen to disc 1. I forgot how much I enjoy this set. The second song, Absolutions is my favorite. I feel like I'm entering Ole period Coltrane country on that one. I'm highly impressed by Morgan and Maupin.

I think it's tough digesting multi-disc sets as the album of the week, but I'm glad we've had the chance to revisit this one.

I'm sure I'll playing it all of this week.

:rsmile:

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The Vamp they play in this version of 'Sidewinder' is from a Freddie Hubbard tune called 'Clarence's Place' (The Body And The Soul, Impulse!, 1963).

When the Lighthouse set came out, I was really puzzled how Lee would have known this tune - it is hardly one of Hubbard's best known. I have the theory that since Freddie wrote it when he was still with Blakey, perhaps it was part of the Messengers' repertoire, and just didn't make it onto any live or studio recordings (official or not).

Any other ideas?

Bertrand.

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Just wanted to mention that I'll be giving you my choice for AOTW by this evening or tomorrow. I didn't know the ball was in my court. Sorry about that. Since everybody likes the advance notice, how about if my pick is for the week beginning April 26th?

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Just wanted to mention that I'll be giving you my choice for AOTW by this evening or tomorrow. I didn't know the ball was in my court. Sorry about that. Since everybody likes the advance notice, how about if my pick is for the week beginning April 26th?

I think that's a great idea!

The Lee Morgan is such a long set that it probably wouldn't hurt us to have another 5 days with it. I know I'll be listening to it for a while.

:rsmile:

Can the board moderator edit this thread to reflect the extended Album of the week time period? April 13-26.

Edited by AfricaBrass

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While not up to the Plugged Nickel to me I think it's a great date. A true working band on fire and it captures a period better than most records a can think of. The three CD set really demonstrates that in a way the 2 LPs don't. As for the alternates etc, I remember a rather lengthy discussion on the Blue Note board about this, I believe one of the producers (David Weiss) chimed in as well. Does anyone remember that? What I remember was that there was only one tune with DeJohnette and that there was a lot more material that was "releaseable".

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Jack sat in on other versions of "Absolutions" and "Something Like This" from other sets from the three evenings which weren't released.

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