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The Sidewinder
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Product Description

The Sidewinder, Lee Morgan's 24-bar blues with an infectious bass line and backbeat, instantly became one of the most popular pieces in modern jazz history. Every track on this classic album is a gem.

The Philadelphia-born trumpeter and superb bop stylist Lee Morgan apprenticed with Dizzy Gillespie and Art Blakey before emerging as a leader in his own right in the early '60s for Blue Note Records. Although Morgan owed a stylistic debt to both Gillespie and Clifford Brown, he quickly developed a voice of his own that combined half-valve effects, Latin inflections, and full, fluid melodies. While many of Morgan's later sessions for Blue Note would find him paired with saxophonist Hank Mobley, The Sidewinder features then up-and-coming tenor player Joe Henderson, plus Detroit pianist Barry Harris, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Billy Higgins. Along with the title track, an unconventional 24-bar blues, the album's compositional standout is "Totem Pole," a minor Latin groove featuring an outstanding solo by Henderson. This is the kind of relaxed blowing date, invigorated by thoughtful performances, that forms the backbone of the Blue Note catalog. --Fred Goodman

Customer Reviews:

  • Great jazz to lift you up and carry you home
    This is another one of those recordings that I picked up on a whim only because it was recommended by The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Eighth Edition (Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings). One listen and I was hooked like a dolphin in a tuna net. If your foot doesn't start tapping the minute the laser touches the etching, you're deaf or dead. And Morgan keeps it up through the entire recording, really embodying a jazz style that got lost in all the "cool" "avant-garde" "smoothe" music that followed close on this trend-setting album's heels. Multiple listenings do not wear thin, and even if I've been listening to Miles Davis for a week or I'm not sure what I'm in the mood for, Sidewinder always satisfies. This CD belongs in any serious jazz fan's library, and it would certainly add something to the casual jazz listener's library too. Put this on at your next party and I guarantee, the dancing will start and more than a few people will want to know the name of the CD so they can pick it up or download it for themselves....more info
  • Outstanding...Lee Morgan At His Best
    This album is fantastic...its a simply a must have for any Jazz music fan.

    All the tracks are fantasitc in their own ways but the first track "The Sidewinder" is 10Mins 25Secs of pure quality.

    The album overall includes some great solos from the rest of the musicians and the overall result is a terrific album.

    If you don't buy this album then you should probably have your head examined......more info

  • Great music.Terrible recording
    I LOVE the music on this CD.Lee Morgan was fantastic on this album.Unfortunately,I can't listen to this disc or any other that Rudy Van Gelder re-mastered during the later stages of his career.I have a very good 2 channel stereo system(Nad C325BEE integrated amp,NAD C515BEE Cd player and Polk Audio Monitor 70 3-way tower speakers).These speakers are well balanced in tone and VERY neutral and NATURAL sounding.EVERYTHING I have played on this system sounds GREAT except for the two BlueNote cd's I recently purchased that were re-mastered by Rudy Van Gelder.I think he was starting to lose his hearing in this later stage of his life and the ability to hear the higher register sounds is usually the first to go.The cymbals are way TOO BRIGHT just like the horns in the upper registers.Very harsh and grating.It's like someone drawing their nails across a chalk board.I will NEVER buy another CD that was re-mastered by RVG for Bluenote later in his life.Anyone who has a good sound system with revealing speakers should avoid all these later Bluenote discs that were re-mastered by RVG.What a shame!...more info
  • The Sidewinder
    This is one of my favorite albums, it is definently my favorite lee morgan album, and it is definently the best hard bop album....more info
  • its a mess and noise
    I'm a fun of jazz and I have decent equipment to play it on but I've never waded through this CD to the end. I just couldn't stand the quality of sound. Cymbals are terrible (bleeding ears)and instruments are imbalanced. Please compare some older Davis recordings from Columbia or Bill Evans from Riverside where percussion is much more subtle and refined. I asked my friend, audiophile for judgement. He said "its a mess and noise". Despite significant upgrades and refinements in my stereo the CD didn't survive in my collectom. I'd say the same about some other RvG Editins (e.g. Cool Struttin' or Blowin' Session). The music itself is not bad, quite energetic but it can't make you tired. Fatigue factor is very, very high in this case....more info
  • Morgan's Most Famous Album
    The Sidewinder is certainly Lee Morgan's most famous album. The title track was a smash hit at the time and was even featured in a Chrysler TV commercial during the 1965 World Series. And it has sold well ever since.

    While the funky title track is highly enjoyable, the other 4 tunes and alternate take of "Totem Pole" are equally outstanding and full of the blues. In fact, "Totem Pole" is probably the most sophisticated and interesting tune and "Gary's Notebook" is also quite inventive. "Boy, What a Night" cranks up the heat for a waltz and "Hocus-Pocus" closes the album in a relaxed mood.

    Morgan is outstanding on trumpet throughout and Joe Henderson is just as good on tenor sax. The sound of the RVG remastering is very clear with plenty of bass and cymbals so that you can hear all the music behind the soloists....more info
  • Underated jazz trumpeter
    This a desert island jazz disc. Any true jazz fan either has or had this disc in their collection and with good reason. The title track is the seminal jazz formula rooted in hard bop that was progressing into the formation of a free wheeling post bop generation of new players to carry on the torch. The brilliant then young, now long gone trumpeter Lee Morgan assembled a tight group of musicians to record his original compositons. This disc demonstrates the talent Lee Morgan had as a composer and soloist, unfortunately his time amongst us was short. The cast of musicians was outstanding with extra props going out to bassist Bob Cranshaw and veteran tenor sax man Joe Henderson. The rhythmic and harmonic structure of these songs played on this session are exceptional examples of a cohesive jazz unit playing as one whole. The duet by Henderson and Morgan is a rare beautiful interchange by a lead and sideman on "Totem Pole" as each plays in harmony, in unison as one instrument then suddenly gives way for the other to add a solo within the framework and continuing the pattern hitting all registrars and shattering perception of what notes can do. Certain discs that have been resurrected from the archives sound better with a sonic cleansing and this is one of those. The music is hot jazz played with a cool demeanor, it is simply one of the best in it's genre. It is about as tight a recording session as you'll ever hear. Originally recorded in the sixties this disc is the perfect backdrop as you make your way through a day in the concrete urban jungle. This is music to put your top down and cruise with the wind blowing through your hair as you leave the golden triangle and head up the coast to your hideaway. If you don't have this in your collection check it out and file it under perenially hip and classic right next to Miles Davis. Highly recommended for straight-ahead jazz aficionados....more info
  • The cure for people who think they don't get jazz
    Some musicians do a particularly good job of expressing their personality through their instruments. On this album, Lee Morgan's trumpet expresses both sheer confidence and the absolute joy of playing music.

    This album is the cure for everyone who thinks they don't get jazz. The music is funky,bluesy, brash and extroverted. Fans of pretty much any popular music genre will be able to react to the groove here. Yet this is no dumbed down, watered-down piece of pandering. Instead, this was a group of highly accomplished jazz musicians playing their butts off on a really good day.

    The re-mastering of the original Blue Note recording sessions is also excellent. Blue Note was famous for having being best recorded sessions in jazz and this album is a good example of everything that made the label great. You can really here the interplay between the musicians on this very clean recording, without ever having to sacrifice the soulfulness of the music.

    Lee Morgan was one of several jazz trumpeters in the 1950s who died in a relatively young age. Play this disc and find out just what we all missed....more info

  • A Classic Blue Note Recording by A Legendary Trumpeter
    Although all knowledgeable jazz fans know about Lee Morgan, had he not been murdered over thirty years ago, it is likely that today his name would be as recognizable in popular culture as that of Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. He was a superbly fine player who made consistently strong sides in the 60s for Blue Note and Vee Jay, among other labels. Whether as a leader or a sideman, his musical contributions were extremely formidable and should be deeply investigated by any jazz fan or students of the trumpet.

    "The Sidewinder" is perhaps Morgan's best known recording, and it is indeed a good listen. The recording also features Joe Henderson (tenor), Barry Harris (piano), Billy Higgins (drums), and Bob Cranshaw (bass). The main title track that opens the recording is a pretty well-known, funky vamp that is so catchy that it is easy to miss the fine interplay between Henderson and Morgan throughout the track. The remaining tracks on the recording are a little more in the hard bop vein and really showcase Morgan's underrated skills as a composer--it should be noted that all of the tracks on the recording were written by Lee Morgan. As with the case of Hank Mobley, Morgan should be given a lot more credit for crafting intricate jazz compositions. They are excellent, particularly the gorgeous "Totem Pole" which features beautiful improvisational interludes, novel changes, and a tight, melodic head.

    Basically, this is not a bad place to start a Lee Morgan collection, if you are interested in hearing his work. However, with an artist of this magnitude, you can't really go wrong getting anything by him....more info

  • Best Non Philly Joe Jones Album Ever!!!!
    I'm a fan of Philly Joe Jones and usually snarl at albums that don't have Philly. If I like an album that doesn't have him, you know it's really good. Sidwinder is the best, but I wish Higgins would stick to the first snare drum pattern that he introduces during the melody. Totem Pole is my favorite, and so is Hocas Pocas. I wish Billy got more spots to solo, other than on the last track on the origanal album. I think it's Boy What A Night, which is the only 4/4 piece on the whole album....more info
  • Briliiant
    Lee Morgan was a true giant of bop and his trumpet playing on this record is representative of this man's amazing talent. Morgan's trumpet style was clean and hot . Every track on this CD is a winner.I love Morgan's work with Art Blakey too but this is the best work Morgan did as a bandleader. Joe Henderson compliments Morgan's searing trumpet style perfectly. It is impossible in my opinion to rank the great bop era trumpet players - Morgan, MIles, Clifford Brown, Fats Navarro and of course Dizzy are all stars in the firmament. Lee Morgan deserved his place in that company and the work he did on this collection assurred it....more info
  • Funny jazz & newbie friendly
    I was really surprised by this CD. I didn't know Lee Morgan before and I think that, at least this CD, is really good, even for jazz beguinners. As you know, for newbies, there are basically two kinds of jazz: the "good & easy one" and the "bad & extrange one" . Well, so this is from the first set....more info