"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.
Frank Zappa's music is not easy to convert to the stage of the jazz band. Although Zappa's zany compositions have always attracted some of the more adventurous jazz players, the actual jazz content of the tunes is minimal. Italian keyboardist Riccardo Fassi takes his Tankio Band of twelve players plus selected guests through a dozen Zappa charts with mixed results. Curiously, Fassi is most successful when he diverges from the structures of the tunes. When he sticks too closely to the melodies and chords, translating them into Kentonesque big band blasts, the results are less satisfying. The quality of the soloists vary, but guest trumpeter Flavio Boltro, accordionist Antonello Salis, and band member alto saxophonist Sandro Satta dish up some of the most compelling individual work.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. Tremendous work by Lee Morgan – easily one of his greatest albums, and a soaring session of modal energy that easily rivals the best work of the Impulse era! The album's got a slightly different feel than usual for Blue Note – a sense of freedom, joy, and soaring energy that's totally great – explored by a crack group that features Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor, Harold Mabern on piano, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums – all coming together with a unique sense of creativity!