Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Frank Morgan/George Cables: Montreal Memories (HighNote)

Review of a live duo album by the saxophonist and pianist, recorded in 1989

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
Cover of Frank Morgan/George Cables album Montreal Memories
Cover of Frank Morgan/George Cables album Montreal Memories

The late altoist Frank Morgan performed together frequently with pianist George Cables; evidence of that includes studio recordings of duets in 1986 (Double Image) and 1989 (half of Mood Indigo), as well as three separate live discs culled from an extended quartet engagement at New York’s Jazz Standard alongside drummer Billy Hart and bassist Carmen Lundy in November 2003. But Montreal Memories, from a July 1989 gig in that Canadian city, is to date the lone album devoted to their live duets: a reliably rewarding and intimately revealing document of their mutual gratitude for the bop tradition and the longstanding love of a good woman.

Three Charlie Parker compositions—“Now’s the Time,” “Confirmation,” and “Billie’s Bounce” (the latter in a contrasting medley with Wayne Shorter’s “Nefertiti”)—open, close, and land smack-dab in the middle of the nine offerings here. Dubbed a Bird protégé before he infamously crashed and burned his way into a 30-year prison-related hiatus, Morgan revels in his mature take on the legacy, mixing Bird’s lightning-quick flutter-and-dip with plangent punctuation and joining Cables on forceful postbop variations.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published