Terell Stafford – Brotherlee Love: Celebrating Lee Morgan (2015)

Artist: Terell Stafford
Title Of Album: Brotherlee Love: Celebrating Lee Morgan
Year Of Release: 2015
Genre: Jazz, Trumpet Jazz
Label: Capri Records
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 75:49
Total Size: 178 MB
Covers: Full

01. Hocus Pocus ( 8:06)
02. Mr. Kenyatta ( 7:22)
03. Petty Larceny ( 8:51)
04. Candy ( 8:57)
05. Yes I Can, No You Can’t ( 7:28)
06. Favor (12:25)
07. Stop Start ( 6:42)
08. Carolyn ( 6:13)
09. Speedball ( 9:40)

You can sum up Terell Stafford’s trumpet style in one word – exciting!

The man just burns; he brings it; he’s plays THE HORN and he wants everyone to know why the angel Gabriel choose this axe [instrument] over all others.

Terell Stafford is a monster player who doesn’t fool with a trumpet. He blows it well and hard. No squeaks; no peeps; no pardon-me-while-I-swing from Terell. He’s in your face with a “listen here brother, I’m gonna blow some electrifying Jazz outta this here, trumpet and you are gonna sit back and dig it.”

Given that attitude, is it any surprise that Terell’s next CD is dedicated to the late trumpeter, Lee Morgan?

I mean, talk about a take-no-prisoners style of trumpet playing, Lee Morgan generated excitement every time the horn touched his lip.

Given the affinity of approaches to the trumpet between Terell and Lee, the only question was why it took so long for the former to do a tribute recording to the latter?

I guess the project was waiting for Tom Burns to come along.

Tom is the owner-operator of Capri Records and he’s been quoted as saying that he makes albums that he would like to listen to himself. A lot of Jazz fans probably share a similar wish but Tom puts up his money to make his fantasies a reality.

The result of Tom’s latest production is the forthcoming Terell Stafford – BrotherLee Love: Celebrating Lee Morgan which becomes available on June 16, 2015.

It is a corker of an album from start to finish. Nine tracks, eight by Lee and one by Terell, on which Stafford is joined by Tim Warfield on tenor sax, Bruce Barth on piano, Peter Washington on bass and Dana Hall on drums.

When the chemistry on a band is right, Jazz musicians inspire one another. They take chances, search for new avenues of expression and push one another in new directions. The music flows; the feeling glows; the grooves are sustained, refreshed, and the quest continues.

I have long been a fan of each of the players on this CD and it is nice to be able to hear what they are up to these days. All of the players are great storytellers who construct solos of of imaginative depth that never stop swinging.

Tim Warfield gets a huge sound on tenor which to my ears is very reminiscent of Dexter Gordon’s, but his phrasing and ideas are very much his own, Tim generates solos that have a texture to them that is almost palpable. He’s got a great sense of humor too because every now and again I hear him throw out a little “bar-walkin’ tenor sax” in his solos. For evidence of this, check out the way Tim slip-slides his way along the counter at the end of his solo on Speedball.

And each time I hear Bruce Barth, I wonder why I don’t listen to him more as his percussive and rhythmic approach to piano reminds me Victor Feldman, Wynton Kelly and Joe Zawinul, all of whom were pianists whose pulsating ideas propelled their solos while also adding pulse to the rhythm section. Bruce’s block-chording on Mr. Kenyatta is absolutely masterful.

Is bassist Peter Washington on every Jazz record date? It sure seems that way, but I’m not complaining because Peter is a model of consistency in his solos and a perfect example of why rhythmically the bass is sometimes considered to be “the heartbeat of Jazz.” Nobody frames chords better than Peter and there is no need to look for “the bottom” when he’s around.

Dana Hall keeps it all flowing from the drum chair with a powerful and energetic swing and well-placed kicks and fills which reflect the fact that he is listening to the soloist and not just playing over them. His extended solo on Lee’s Mr. Kenyatta brought back memories of Max Roach because you can hear Dana playing the melody instead of a bunch of drum rudiments across bar lines.


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