This post could be called “The Sidewinder” aka my second step into jazz world. Every time i’m talkin with this friend of mine i got to take a notepad with me, because he blasts me with lots of names of artists, ways of playing instruments, unbelieveble sessions, labels and so on. This time i’ve highlighted four words: Lee Morgan, hardbop, trumpet and Blue Note.
Mr Morgan was like a prodigy, when he had been playing for five years he had already recorded as a leader for Blue Note label and had been also a featured sideman on several early Hank Mobley records as well as John Coltrane’s Blue Train. He joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messenger in 1958 further developing his faculty as a soloist and songwriter.
Blakey, Morgan, Shorter with Bobby Timmons and Jymie Merritt as the classic phoebe of the Jazz Messenger recorded “The Freedon Rider” album. After a couple of years living as a pimp in his hometown Philadelphia (being also heroin addicted…almost a prerogative then) he came back shining more than ever on the scenes, it was 1963 and a bomb called “The Sidewinder” was bursted. These were few biographical hints, just to make you know he was an unordinary talent.
Morgan and his cast of players (can’t forget the legendary Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone) seem to understand that it’s all about the “groove”, and his underplayed solo, always staying inside the rhythmic pocket, insures that this sidewinder never goes off course. Believe me it’s still a very enjoyable tune in its own right, also for a rookie like me. These 5 tracks go fulfilling a fusion album, you gotta catch the soul/funk/boogaloo bass line and the rhythm imparted by the trumpet, hold them then move over to 1991, listen “Fruits of Nature” and try to recognize those tunes…i think it’s not so hard.
UMC’s was a duo from Staten Island made up by Hass G and Kool Kim, their lyrics were maybe out of time cause back in the days it was mostly gansta predominance, that’s likely one of the causes of their prematurely departure from the scene. They released just a couple of albums indeed, “Fruits of Nature” was debut album, then “Unleashed” in ’94, both under Wild Pitch Records.
“Fruits of Nature” is solid, deeply full of samples, from jazz to soul, from funk to rock. Besides that i like their flow, clean and dynamic and a special mention goes to chorus though basically i can’t appreciate it so much.