Morgan’s commercial success with The Sidewinder means that this date, recorded before but released immediately afterwards, is too often overlooked.
Morgan is in expansive and relaxed form and perfectly in sync with a flawless rhythm section comprising Billy Higgins and Reggie Workman.
By now, the world knew he could tear it up plenty, when the mood took him. But here, he mostly eschews the incendiary feats of virtuosity and, instead, swings and swaggers with a lyrical gusto. Almost reminiscent of the great Harry James.
Where most musicians induce tension via harmonic means, Higgins and Workman ramp it up by stretching the rubato to snapping point. Most obviously on Mr. Kenyatta, arguably the stand-out cut against seriously stiff competition.
No filler, all killer and one of Morgan’s greatest sessions.