Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jazz 101: Lee Morgan - The Sidewinder

Lee Morgan - The Sidewinder (buy album).

If I had to pick just one track to introduce jazz to fans of rock/pop music, this would be the one. It's funky and extrememly listenable, with great playing by young guns Lee Morgan (age 25) on trumpet and Joe Henderson (age 26) on tenor sax. You'll be hooked almost at once.

Lee Morgan began professional career while still a teenager. He played with greats like Art Blakey and John Coltrane (check out the trumpet solo on Blue Train). After its release in 1964, The Sidewinder registered on the pop charts, a rare accomplishment for a jazz single.

Tragically, Morgan's career was cut short in 1972 when Morgan (at the age of 33) was shot by his common law wife during a scuffle at Slug's jazz club. A court determined that the shooter was insane.

Read more about Lee Morgan at All Music Guide.


Ramone666 said...

Paul, looks like we both decided to do a jazz post today. The Sidewinder is indeed an amazing album. Never knew Morgan died so early.
Mine´s om the great Ben Webster Check it out.

Jim H. said...

Back in 65, I was in a body cast for a couple months and amused myself recording songs from the radio on an old reel-to-reel. One of the songs was Sidewinder and it lead me to exploring and appreciating jazz. For that, I am grateful.

Anonymous said...

I agree that The Sidewinder is a great place to start with Lee Morgan, and with jazz in general. "Cornbread", from a couple years later, is another great album; for the title track and for Ceora, a nice ballad.


Dave D. said...

FWIW, Mike Stone uses this song as the bumper music for his Talk Soup radio show on WDFN weekdays at 6.

Elan said...

I Happened to hear the Beatles' tune "Doctor Robert" (from the 1966album, Revolver) yesterday and it occcured to me that they used the same rhythmic figure, or hook, as in the Sidewinder, which was released by Blue Note almost 2 years before Revolver. I wonder if John Lennon had heard Sidewinder and got a few ideas from Lee Morgan!