"Listen to the Dawn" is a rare example of Frank Morgan recording an entire album without a pianist. The veteran alto saxophonist, who was only two weeks away from his 60th birthday when this post-bop/be bop CD was recorded, evidently wanted to try something a bit different – and it was a move that paid off creatively. Whether he's forming an intimate duo with guitarist Kenny Burrell or forming a quartet with Burrell, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Grady Tate, Morgan fares quite well without a pianist.
Altoist Frank Morgan leads an all-star group on this excellent hard bop set. With tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster also in the sextet, it is not surprising that Morgan sounds a bit inspired. The musicians all play up to their usual level, performing "Caravan" (which was added to the CD version) and Sonny Rollins' "Sonnymoon for Two," plus a song apiece by Thelonious Monk ("Reflections"), Miller, Hutcherson, Henderson and Carter. Recommended.
Official Release #101. On the evening of October 23, 2013, Walt Disney Concert Hall was the place to be in Los Angeles, as Esa-Pekka Salonen conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale in a spectacular, sold-out orchestral performance of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels (The Suites). Recorded for posterity, the acclaimed, one-night-only 13-suite performance of Zappa's 1971 masterwork will be released worldwide on November 20 by Zappa Records/UMe. This 2CD release's expertly recorded audio brings the listener back to Walt Disney Concert Hall to experience the exciting 200 Motels (The Suites) spectacle, complemented by photos from the evening and essays by the show and recording's producers, Gail Zappa and Frank Filipetti, the evening's director James Darrah, 'Scoremeister' Kurt Morgan, and performers including Diva Zappa, Michael Des Barres, special guest 'Rock' rhythm section drummer Joe Travers, and former Zappa band member Scott Thunes. Essays by some notable members of the audience, including Steve Vai and Peter Asher, are also included.