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01/01/12

Carol Morgan Quartet
Blue Glass Music

A sparkling, mature but under-recognized trumpeter, Carol Morgan fronts a stellar crew on her impressive fourth release as a leader. The organic interplay that she forges with her frontline partner Joel Frahm, a formidable and consistently adventurous tenor sax player, is sheer magic. And the indelible hookup provided by drummer Matt Wilson and bassist Martin Wind lends a relaxed, early ’60s Blue Note/Prestige vibe to the session. Together they explore Cole Porter’s “I Love You,” which has Wilson slyly slipping in a “Poinciana” beat before the piece opens up considerably during Frahm’s solo. Wilson’s mallets solo on this tune shows why he is among the most melodic drummers on the scene. They take a relaxed spin through “April in Paris,” with Frahm brilliantly shadowing Morgan’s moves. They also turn in a dramatic reading of Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman,” underscored by Wind’s bowed bass and Wilson’s playing on tuned African slit drum. The easy, melodic interplay between Morgan and Frahm is also readily apparent on Booker Little’s “Booker’s Waltz” and Jimmy McHugh’s sprightly “Where Are You?,” buoyed by Wilson’s briskly swinging brushwork. A superb outing.

Originally published in December 2011
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