I just watched this haunting jazz documentary about Lee Morgan and what led to the tragic death of the 33 year old trumpet genius.
I’m really into documentaries and the ones of musicians are always ranking high on my watch list.
Aside from shining light on what actually happened to Lee Morgan the story around is masterfully told with haunting cinematography, beautiful stills, interview with eye witnesses like legendary Wayne Shorter and Benny Maupin as well as Lee Morgan’s wife Helen talking to us via an old cassette tape (interviewed by Larry Reni Thomas) weeks before she died to tell her side of the story. The interviews from the past and present are entwined brilliantly and the snow footage towards the end of the movie really makes sit up and almost feel like you are there at ‘Snugs’ (Jazz club where Lee Morgan played regularly) on the faithful night.
Of course, last but not very least, Lee Morgan’s trumpet playing and his music is spellbinding. I have to admit that I wasn’t familiar with the album: ‘Search for the New Land‘ and I ask myself – how could I’ve missed this one before? In one of the scenes Lee Morgan says in an interview that he doesn’t like the term ‘Jazz‘ and offers ‘Black Classical Music‘ instead but even that, in his opinion, doesn’t encompass it all. Have a listen yourselves – enjoy the beautiful music from the master(s) at work and stick whatever label you want onto it.
Here a review of the movie by Jordan Hoffman for the Guardian. I think it is well written and I agree with Jordan’s observations.
I understand the movie is a Swedish-American production by director Kaspin Collins. Respect to the man – I think this is a masterpiece!
Other documentaries that go beyond the cold facts of ‘what was happening’ are (IMHO):
We’ve been working hard towards the release of The Red Counts’ ‘A Little Book of Jazz’.
Although the album has already been mixed we weren’t 100% happy with it and started afresh. As we are clearly inspired by the work of Rudy van Gelder, legendary Blue Note audio engineer we thought we wanted to emulate the sound of the classic tape machines.
The accumulative effect on using this plug-in on all tracks as well as the master bus is just brilliant and exactly what we are after in terms of sound.
The individual tracks are set to a group emulating a 2″ 16 track tape machine and the master bus is set to a 1/2″ 2 track tape machine. Further tweaks to Bias/Tape speed/Tape type have resulted in lovely ‘vintage’ sounding tracks.
We are very much looking forward to presenting you with the album soon! See what you’ll make of it!
André Spang has just played piano on ‘Pantheon of Greats’ – brilliant performance – as always – what a guy! We really hope that we are going to play these tunes together live on stage somewhere soon.
This was the last tune of the collection of tunes for our first release called ‘A Little Book Of Jazz‘ – don’t want to make any promises but we are hoping to release the album later this year on RSB Records. Only with the blessing of all, of course!
‘Pantheon of Greats’ is an up tempo Blues in Eb (slightly unusual as Blues in F and Bb seem to be the predominant keys for Be-Bop type Blues heads) – but everybody was up for the challenge it seems. I probably found it the hardest, not a myriad of open strings in the key of Eb:-)
Anyway, I’m off to mixing the track and hope to be able to present it to you to. You might want to take a break from reading Will Durant’s ‘The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time’ and listen to some seriously good Jazz whilst having a lovely cup of tea.
We had a great time playing out book ‘A Little Book of Jazz’ to a hip crowd! Gunther, Vasilis and Gary were burning and we felt well looked after by Becky, the venue’s manager. Thanks for the drinks and water (of course) on this hot evening! Can’t wait to do it again! The Bar Night Jar is a happening place, easy to miss and even more gratifying once you found it in the midst of Shoreditch, a few minutes walk from Old Street Tube Street. Thanks also for Grey Goose Vodka for sponsoring the evening!
Here a super Lo-Fi video from our guest table – thanks Andy and Will!
Very much looking forward to our gig at the Nightjar in London on Monday 19th of June, sponsored by Grey Goose Vodka – also a great opportunity to play with Berklee alumni and a firecracker of a Jazz saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos – come and hear and see him in action!