Monday, March 19, 2012

Carol Morgan Quartet Blue Glass Music BBM 2012


Carol Morgan hails from the Lone Star state but has set up shop in New York City. Most recently she has been working with some incredible teachers including the phenomenal Ingrid Jensen. As a leader Morgan has knocked out four releases with her sophomore and current release on Blue Bamboo Blue Glass Music. Like a great many talents working the jazz mecca of the world, Morgan leads several different ensembles with the 4tet assembled for Blue Glass Music perhaps her finest artistic showcase to date.

With a chameleon like approach Morgan and her 4tet change musical colors all most at will. Expect the unexpected, harmonic changes on a dime and dynamics that are constantly shifting. The constant musical evolution of this formidable quartet quickly morphs from a more traditional post bop basis to a more searching avant gard present. There is a sonic tightrope that would have the less experienced talent fallen over to the self indulgent side while Morgan and her band seem more content in playing in the moment without a preconceived notion of where they are supposed to be, they instead are happy in the musical lightness of being.

"I Love You" opens what would appear to be a safe yet standard journey through an all too familiar discography but a more modern post bop ground work begins to be formed with the old becoming oddly new again. "April In Paris" pulls off the same sonic slight of hand where your cerebral senses are expecting a completely different outcome than the visceral swing the band has in mind. "Glyph" is an odd metered gym by tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm and while most players seem to take this approach to join the flavor of the month club, Frahm's keen sense of lyrical direction allows him the proper time and place to reel the tune back in as needed. The interplay between this ensemble is a thing of beauty, a sonic exploratory of old school with a an inventive twist.

There is a fascinating in the moment sound, a refresh approach seldom heard that elevates Blue Glass Music from what would otherwise be considered a good album to a great release that leaves the listener longing for more. A modern jazz sound scape taking the more traditional to a new and exciting contemporary place.

A first call band led by one of the brightest new voices in jazz in some time. A solid winner!

Tracks: I Love You; April In Paris; Lonely Woman; Booker's Waltz; Glyph; Where Are You; Last Waltz.

Personnel: Carol Morgan: trumpet; Joel Frahm:tenor saxophone; Marin Wind: bass; Matt Wilson: drums and percussion.