Reviews that mention Thomas Morgan

March 7, 2016

Jen Shyu & Jade Tongue

Sounds and Cries of the World
Pi Recordings Pi 61

By Ken Waxman

One of the musicians of Asian heritage who are interpolating currents from eastern cultures into American-based improvised music, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu approaches the task earnestly, rejecting surface exoticism. Like a jeweler who sources the most appealing stones for an exquisite necklace no matter their origin, Shyu places ethnic-tinged sounds within unique settings. She may sing in Javanese, Korean, Tetrum (from East Timor) and Indonesian plus English, but no attempt is made to reproduce traditional frameworks. Besides piano, she accompanies herself on gat kimr two-string Taiwanese lute; gayageum, 12-string Korean zither, ggwaenggwar, Korean gong; and kenmark, a Javanese idiophone. But these instruments are integrated with so-called western tones from Mat Maneri’s viola, Ambrose Akinmusire’s trumpet, Thomas Morgan’s bass and Dan Weiss’ drums. MORE

December 6, 2014

Artist Feature

Thomas Morgan
By Ken Waxman

Thomas Morgan didn’t have much time for an interview when contacted by TNYCJR. Back in New York for a few days after a couple of months touring overseas with pianist Craig Taborn’s trio and Danish guitarist Jakob Bro’s multi-media quintet, within the week he was off across the Atlantic for most of a month to take the bass spot in two different working bands: drummer Jim Black’s trio and Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko’s quartet. Constant touring is just part of life for Morgan, 33, who has been one of the city’s busiest bassist almost since arriving here from his native California 15 years ago. Featured on more than 70 CDs, Morgan honed his skill with as many groups as he can, including those led by veterans such as Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi, drummer Paul Motian and guitarists Bill Frisell. MORE

November 28, 2013

Craig Taborn Trio

Chants
ECM 2326

Satoko Fujii

Spring Storm

Libra Records 203-034

Sophie Agnel/John Edwards/Steve Noble

Météo

Clean Feed CF 272 CD

Probably the most respected of all Jazz configurations from all parts of the modern spectrum is the archetypal piano, bass and drum trio. Just because it’s the standard modus operandi for stylists ranging from Keith Jarrett and Oscar Peterson to Bill Evans and Ahmad Jamal doesn’t means that the end product has to be the same. Especially evident in this trio of disc involving American, French, British and Japanese players is that originality results when the expected hierarchy of the piano-and-rhythm-section is shattered. In each of these discs creation is among equal partners. MORE

August 6, 2012

Masabumi Kikuchi Trio

Sunrise
ECM 2096

Russ Lossing

Drum Music (Music of Paul Motian)

Sunnyside SSC 1319

By Ken Waxman

Although inextricably linked to Bill Evans for his sensitive work in the pianist’s trio of the early ‘60s, drummer Paul Motian (1931-2011) developed his minimalist rhythmic sense earlier in clarinetist Tony Scott’s quartet and extended himself as a band leader and composer from 1972 onwards. Helmed by two pianists of widely divergent ages and backgrounds, these fine CDs celebrate Motian’s contributions as a player and writer. MORE