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:
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
14. Blues In The Night
15. Twilight Time
16. Everything I Have Is Yours
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