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Frank Morgan: A Night in the Life: Live at the Jazz Standard, Vol. 3

If you think you’ve heard these half-dozen bebop standards too many times before, reconnect via Frank Morgan’s jubilant alto saxophone expression, nimble lines and personal approach to the changes. There are lessons to be learned throughout this 2003 set at the Jazz Standard, including pianist George Cables’ springy drive, bassist Curtis Lundy’s supple percussiveness and drummer Billy Hart’s agile dance steps.

Opening with Charlie Parker’s “Confir-mation” and ending with “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” Morgan maintains a light touch and unhurried poise throughout. Tempos may be fast or less fast-and the altoist can articulate at any speed-but Morgan exudes relaxation, musical maturity and superb self-editing. “Paper Moon” is taken at a delicious slow tempo, with the alto setting the pace unaccompanied for the first few bars. Parker’s “Hot House” proceeds at a lazy, bluesy tempo. “On Green Dolphin Street,” “Half Nelson” and “Billie’s Bounce” complete the challenging set.

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