Chris Morrissey Quartet: The Morning World

The shape of things to come. For twenty-eight year old Minnesota born and Brooklyn-raised bassist and bandleader Chris Morrissey, has released an excellent debut album titled The Morning World.

Morrissey has composed nine well thought out and perfectly crafted songs and has surrounded himself with an outstanding cast of players, such as saxophonists Michael Lewis and Chris Thomson, David King on drums, Peter Schimke and Bryan Nichols on the piano.

Lead track “The Skinny Part of Idaho” is a superb opener. What really stands out is the fact that the bass does not stand out. Morrissey allows the bass to be more of a simple instrument and lets it speak for itself.

“The Skinny Part of Idaho,” like the rest of the album, is as if it part of an ensemble piece without actually feeling like an ensemble piece. What really is evident is the way that Morrissey and the other players play off of each other, no one is front and centre and that includes the bandleader.

With the addition of The Bad Plus drummer David Kind some of these songs take on a rock flavored tinge especially on “The Sub-Prime Sword Claims Another.” This piece has a sort of James Bond-themed quality to it and it works.

Morrissey and the bands excel at harmonies and melodies. The song “The Morning World is Waiting,” with its blues feel, is a fine example of this. Saxophonist Michael Lewis plays a newer Coltrane blues sense without sound like he wants to be a newer Coltrane.

Chris Morrissey could be the shape of things to come when it comes to bassists and bandleaders. His album The Morning World is a great example of using your instrument but also utilizing the players around you to create not only a vehicle for yourself, but to create an ensemble without being too much of an ensemble. If I lived in a morning world and there was no afternoon, this album is where I would want to be.