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Thomas Morgan: The Universal Answer

Strikingly reserved yet mightily prolific, the bassist connects many of the most important musicians in current jazz 

Thomas Morgan (photo by John Rogers/ECM)
Thomas Morgan (photo by John Rogers/ECM)

Since moving to New York almost 20 years ago, the bassist Thomas Morgan has appeared on more than 100 albums, establishing himself as one of the most in-demand sidemen in jazz. Collectively, the musicians he has recorded with make up a kind of modern pantheon of influential jazz artists: Craig Taborn, David Virelles, Paul Motian, Masabumi Kikuchi, Jen Shyu, Tomasz Stańko, David Binney, Tyshawn Sorey, Steve Coleman, Miles Okazaki, John Abercrombie and Steve Cardenas, among many others.

It is, of course, easier for a bassist to leave his footprint in the recording world than it is for a guitarist or a trumpeter; bassists are almost always in demand. Yet the rate at which Morgan pops up on other musicians’ albums is still something of a marvel. Morgan has played and performed with such a wide variety of artists that you could get a good sense of jazz’s evolution over the past two decades just by following his name across liner notes.

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