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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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DICK MORRISSEY QUARTET

Here and Now and Sounding Good
&
Storm Warning!

Vocalion 2CDSML 8479

 

 


Here and Now and Sounding Good
1. Off the Wagon
2. Corpus
3. Don't Fall Over the Bridge
4. Sunday Lunch
5. Little Miss Sadly
6. El Schtuck

Dick Morrissey - Tenor sax
Harry South- Piano
Phil Bates - Bass
Bill Eyden - Drums

Storm Warning!
1. Storm Warning
2. What Is There To Say?
3. Come Rain Or Come Shine
4. Wind Of Change
5. Get Out Of Town
6. March On

Dick Morrissey - Tenor sax
Harry South - Piano
Phil Bates - Bass
Phil Seamen - Drums

 

This is a double CD reissuing two Mercury LPs from 1966 and 1967 - although the albums are not arranged chronologically, which is mysterious. Dick Morrissey was one of the foremost British tenor-saxists from the sixties onwards. He is probably best remembered as co-founder of Morrissey-Mullen with guitarist Jim Mullen, a group which introduced many British listeners to jazz-rock.

These Mercury albums precede Morrissey's collaboration with Mullen and present him as a young bebop player in his mid-twenties. Dick was a forthright player - able to blow hard, especially on such tracks as the tearaway Don't Fall Over The Bridge, which was written by Tubby Hayes and is very similar to Tubby's Second City Steamer. Although he is quite outspoken on this and several other tracks, Morrissey could also play ballads calmly - like the standard What Is There To Say? and Stan Tracey's Little Miss Sadly, which is wistful rather than mournful.

On both LPs, Dick was accompanied by pianist Harry South and bassist Phil Bates, although the drummers were different on each album. Bill Eyden was a busy (sometimes noisy) drummer, as you can hear at the end of Off The Wagon and in Don't Fall Over The Bridge. Phil Seamen could also be assertive, although he was more erratic than Eyden. Phil's rimshots are inconsistent in the title-track of Storm Warning. Harry South and Phil Bates play dependably, although many of the piano solos are not very stimulating.

All in all, this is an enjoyable but hardly outstanding album. My main reservation is that, technically brilliant though he was, Morrissey lacked a distinctive tone which would single him out from the crowd - unlike, say, Sonny Rollins or Ben Webster. Dick's fans may disagree with me, and they will greatly enjoy this double album.

Tony Augarde

www.augardebooks.co.uk



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