Carol Morgan - POST COOL
Carol Morgan is a jazz trumpeter, composer, educator and author who resides in NYC. Originally from Texas, she is a Juilliard graduate who has worked with many remarkable teachers including Chris Gekker, Mark Gould, Ingrid Jensen, and Dennis Dotson.
Carol's discography includes six CD's as a leader. The much anticipated POST COOL (2017) is a return to the Carol Morgan Quartet flavor of her celebrated Blue Glass Music. Retroactive (2013) includes many of her original compositions and features Mike Stern and Chris Cortez among a cast of New York and Houston musicians. A 2011 release, The Carol Morgan Quartet CD, Blue Glass Music received 4 1/2 stars in a DownBeat magazine review. The Carol Morgan Trio CD, Opening, with Harvie S and Rich DeRosa was signed by Blue Bamboo Music and released in early 2010. Other session work includes solo outings, Classic Morgana and Passing Time with the Carol Morgan Quintet, as well as filling side-person roles on releases by DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Hawk-Richard Jazz Orchestra, The Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, NPR's The Engines of Our Ingenuity, Thomas Helton, Henry Darragh and Calvin Owens. As a composer she has been commissioned by DiverseWorks, the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble, the Arch-diocese of Houston/Galveston and St. Thomas Presbyterian Church, Houston. In 2008, Carol authored what is now a highly-regarded method for jazz improvisation-a textbook entitled The Practicing Improviser.
Currently, Carol's performing ensembles include the Carol Morgan Trio, Carol & Company (featuring Jon Roche), the Carol Morgan Quartet (featuring Joel Frahm, Martin Wind and Matt Wilson) and Gingerbred (led by Brad Linde). Recent performing venues include Small's Jazz Club, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, The Blue Note, The 55 Bar, The Kitano, The Iridium, The Bar Next Door, Blues Alley (DC), The Atlas (DC), Bohemian Caverns (DC), Scullers Jazz Club (Boston), the Playboy Jazz Festival (The Hollywood Bowl, LA), Marians Jazz Room (Bern, Switzerland), The Lionel Hampton Jazz Club (Paris), The Elephant Room (Austin), The Deer Head Inn (Delaware Gap, PA) and World Cafe' Live (Philadelphia).
Carol's goal as an artist and teacher is to help people enjoy music more.
Carol Morgan moved to New York because her trumpet teacher suggested she audition for Juilliard; a comment she mistook for a joke. That prestigious school had accepted Miles Davis, and she modestly did not see herself worthy of such an association. She auditioned, expecting disaster, but triumphed. "I went to Juilliard in '91. Despite what has been said, Miles was proud of that school, and I had one of his scholarships. Then he died. I never got to see him live."
Happily, she did hear Ingrid Jensen play at The Five Spot. "I loved that club. They had great food. Honestly, that is why I went. I didn't know Ingrid at all, but was blown away by the beautiful music." I studied with her for maybe a year and a half. I was also studying with Mark Gould, but I had debt to pay off from school, before I could continue being a jazz musician. I went to Houston and taught at a community college for ten years."
She worked her way back, and into the jazz scene as a composer, teacher, side-person, author and leader. By 2011, she was ready to make her well received fourth CD, Blue Glass Music and approached Joel Frahm. "I knew Joel from his steady gig at Bar Next Door. He'd always have me sit in. Joel helped in so many ways. He said, 'You should use Matt Wilson and Martin Wind.'" They recorded at Maggie's Farm in Pennsylvania. Joel said, "It's in a beautiful area. Also doing it over two days made the session feel very relaxed. It's a very soulful place and that's reflected in the music."
Carol so impressed her highly regarded bandmates, that when she asked them to return for this CD they gladly complied. Matt recalls, "There were no set arrangements. We played what came organically. It was refreshing to not have someone fussy about details and go for the big picture. She played beautifully, and I love her writing. She is very thoughtful, and creates an interesting sonic environment." Joel added, "The way she writes has a lot of the jazz tradition in it and real emotion and meaning. I always enjoy playing her songs."
Martin said, "This front line of her and Joel makes this band so special. Joel is a virtuoso, and Carol is able to create interest and suspense in her solos. She's got a great hand for picking material, and she did not work out any arrangements. That opened the possibilities for Joel to harmonize and play around the melody line. It was a very open and in the moment approach, almost like playing a gig. The combination of the two unique individual voices interacting and no harmony instrument being in the way is fantastic. It sets it apart from so many other groups."
Carol explained that she picked the material for Post Cool Vol. 1 because, "I've been helping my best friend care for her newborn twins. She needs rest, but they need to eat every three hours or so. I'm on the night shift, baby." That's when she worked out the set list and why several selections are about nighttime. While she didn't compose her originals then, she did create new lyrics to the bridge of "A Night in Tunisia."
"Bebop's for babies,
And babies are like you.
I like to bebop,
And I hope that you will, too!"
Someday the twins will listen to Post Cool Vol. 1 and discover that Dizzy's classic isn't a standard nursery rhyme.
write your comments about the article :: © 2017 Jazz News :: home page