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Sunday, 1 March 2009

Morris Lane - Tenor Saxsation

This is yet another LP which has languished on my shelves for many years. I’ve been a fan of honkin’ tenor sax for nearly thirty years and when I bought this 1988 Official album I was anticipating a honk fest. Only the first six tracks are jump blues blasters, while the rest of the album consists of organ backed swing standards, so my initial response to the LP was one of disappointment. A couple of decades down the line I can now better appreciate the artistry that is contained in this excellent collection.

Perhaps Morris Lane is best remembered today for his spell in the Lionel Hampton band in 1947 when he and Johnny Sparrow manned the tenor saxes. But before that, in September 1946, Lane had taken part in a recording session for Savoy as part of a group called the Bebop Boys, who included Sonny Stitt, Fats Navarro, Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke. The tracks from that session are available on the Proper 4CD set “Sonny Stitt: Sax O’ Bebop.” In January 1947, Lane returned to the Savoy studio and recorded the fiery “Luke The Spook” b/w “Down The Lane.”

In 1951 Lane recorded a couple of jumping sides for Apollo which were released on Apollo single 808: “Blue Jeans” and “B.O. Plenty’s Return.” Later in 1951 Lane recorded several fine jump sides for Bobby Robinson’s new label Robin. “Bobby’s Boogie” and “Ghost Town” were in fact the first sides released on Robinson’s label.

In February and May 1952, Lane recorded two sessions for Coral, backed by a quartet led by organist Bill Doggett. This was a change of sound from the first six tracks on this collection, with swing era standards featuring prominently on releases aimed at the late night smooch crowd. “Moon Ray” in particular is a haunting performance, right up there with Earl Bostic’s “Serenade”, in my opinion. There’s also a beautiful treatment of “Stairway To The Stars” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So” starts off by quoting Jimmy Forrest’s “Night Train.”

In December 1952, billed as “Morris Lane & His Magic Saxophone”, Lane recorded four sides for the tiny Scooter label in the same vein as his Coral material. This time Billy Taylor was on organ while Art Blakey was on drums. “Poinciana” and “Blues In The Night” are particularly fine efforts.

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps

Download from here:

Tenor Saxsation (Mega)

1. Bobby's Boogie
2. Ghost Town
3. Luke The Spook
4. Down The Lane
5. Blue Jeans
6. B.O. Plenty's Return
7. Midnight Sun
8. Pale Moon (An Indian Love Song)
9. Moon Ray
10. I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire
11. It Ain't Necessarily So
12. Stairway To The Stars
13. Poinciana
14. Blues In The Night
15. Twilight Time
16. Everything I Have Is Yours


rm said...

thank you very much

boogiewoody said...

Thanks for commenting, rm. I think you've found yourself a lost gem of an LP hidden deep in the blog!

Baron said...

Thanks BW ... reading your comments in the 'recents' led me here ... looks good ... Baron

Apesville said...

Seems to be a mystery about the robin issue. Some websites say the labe states Morris Lane some say Morris Land? also is listed as red robin 101 / 102 on serveral sites. But others say it was only called "Robin" till issue 106 when it changed to "Red Robin" ?

Also Robin 102 was issued as by acording to various websites Robert Ross singers & others Robert Rose Singers
Your sleeve label Robin shot give nothing away as it to small to read? And like another "Robin" mystery
Robin 106 "Two Gospel Keys" - Every Man Lay Down & Die / "Thrasher Wonders" Motherless Child or is the flip "Two Gospel Keys" "I Can't Tarry" websites again disagree on this one. I guess I'll have to keep looking for an original 78 to solve it, unless anybody has allready got them & can share the truth?

boogiewoody said...

Hi DrunkenHobo

I've had a look at the label shot on the LP sleeve - it's pretty hard to read even at full size!

The label is Red Robin with "Robin" in large letters at the top of the label and "RED" in very small letters on the upper left hand side of the capital R in "Robin".

The number is 101. The title is "Bobby's Boogie" credited to "Morris Lane and Band."

I don't know if that clears up any points?

Apesville said...

It does as long as it is taken from an original label shot, not altered arywork or a bootleg. Thank you for your help. Drunk

Anonymous said...

I have near mint original copies of both the Robin and Red Robin 78RPM of course) Morris Lane releases. If anyone wants to see what the original labels looked like I can have someone do a scan and supply it to this site.

boogiewoody said...

Yes please, anonymous. That would be great if you could send in scans. I'll upload them to the post. You can send them to the blog email address:

thank you


ramson said...

Thanks a lot.

More Morris Lane here:


boogiewoody said...

Thanks for the link ramson - I'm downloading right now! Sorry for the delay in getting your comment up, somehow it got lost when I didn't receive the usual email notice that it had been made.

The Gems of Jazz blog looks really interesting - must have a look around.