Lee Morgan began carving out his musical legacy while still a teenager and never looked back. He emerged from Philadelphia in 1956 playing with such brilliance that he was dubbed “the new Clifford Brown.” Dizzy Gillespie, on one of his tour stops in Philly, heard Lee play and immediately hired him for Gillespie’s own globe trotting band. Lee Morgan was never a mere copy or revivalist but a powerful creative force from the start with his own fresh musical ideas. Few 18-year olds in jazz history have started out at such a high level and maintained it throughout their career. On Vol. 3 from 1957, Morgan performs five compositions and arrangements by the great tenor-saxophonist Benny Golson including the original (and definitive) version of the heartbreaking “I Remember Clifford.” Morgan’s sound on trumpet was already brilliant, his ideas fresh and new, and his solos full of crackling fire and confidence. For all of his swagger and intensity, it is Morgan’s passionate rendition of “I Remember Clifford” that remains in one’s mind long after this superb album is finished. Vol. 3 is a superb musical document of the emergence of a true giant.
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