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Carol Morgan Quartet: Post Cool, Vol. 1: The Night Shift (Carol Morgan)

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Carol Morgan Quartet: "Post Cool, Vol. 1: The Night Shift"
Carol Morgan Quartet: “Post Cool, Vol. 1: The Night Shift”

Wow—this self-released album sounds like a classic out of the early 1940s, right down to its length (six songs running 40 minutes). It has the vibe of a live album from a New York club date during bop’s heyday, except recorded with more sophisticated equipment; the fidelity is as much the star here as the superb quartet, led by trumpeter Carol Morgan and featuring tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson. (Clearly Morgan thinks so too, because the engineer, masterer and producer are listed as equals alongside the musicians.)

First off: Who is Carol Morgan, and why isn’t she better known? And why isn’t she signed to a popular label? That’s the big mystery here. Post Cool, Vol. 1 is a mature work made by a musician who is confident in her skills as a bandleader, arranger and soloist. Ten-second bio: She’s a Juilliard grad, itinerant sidewoman and jazz educator who’s made six recordings as a leader.

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