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Lee Morgan: Charisma

Charisma is not essential Lee Morgan, but even a slightly sub-par date by the trumpeter is a better bet than 90% of the product currently flooding the market. Recorded in ’66, Morgan leads a stellar sextet comprised of saxophonists Jackie McLean and Hank Mobley, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Billy Higgins, through a set of surprisingly ordinary tunes, the worst of which (Duke Pearson’s unfunky “Sweet Honey Bee”) is as dated as the hokey cover art. Still, even two-dimensional heads can facilitate satisfying solos, which is frequently the case in this program of blues, Latin tinges and reworked war-horses.

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