Lee Morgan (tp), Curtis Fuller (tb), Hank Mobley, Billy Root (ts), Ray Bryant (p), Tommy Bryant (b), 'Specs' Wright (d)
Reference: FSRCD 537
Bar code: 8427328605373
Birdland was the Mecca for most modernists of the 50s. It was the only club in New York City where a big band could play. Bookings were mostly for solid two-week periods. On Monday nights the regulars were off, and the legendary jazz disk jockey Symphony Sid (1909-1984) ran one of his jam sessions with young, upand-coming, cutting edge local musicians. Anything could happen and frequently did, as these outstanding performances, recorded on two consecutive Monday nights, on April 21 and 28 1958, show.
Anyone who was anyone in 50s jazz was introduced by Symphony Sid at Birdland. Here Lee Morgan, not yet 20, gives notice of his exceptional talent, his trumpet clear, biting and full-toned. Trombonist Curtis Fuller, with his unique, French Horn-like sound, shows his flowing conception and great dynamic range. On tenor, Hank Mobley is all ease and authority, while Billy Root swings mightily. And the rhythm section drives them with strength and sensitivity throughout these invigoratingly cohesive blowing sessions by some of the stellar talents of the era.