Byron Morris and Unity
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Live at the East Coast Jazz Festival
Vibrations in Time
In December 1973, Byron Morris' band Unity entered a studio in White Plains, NY, and recorded its first LP, Blow Thru Your Mind. That session wasn't Morris' first experience in a studio. In 1969, Morris and trumpeter Gerald Wise recorded their Unity session for EPI Records — before Morris co-founded a group called Unity, the saxman was part of an LP called Unity. Blow Thru Your Mind, which first came out on vinyl in 1974, was EPI's second release. In 2002, Blow Thru Your Mind and Morris' next album, Vibrations, Themes and Serenades, were both reissued on CD by Céleste Music (a Japanese label). But those Céleste reissues weren't the first time that Morris' '70s recordings had been heard on CD; in 1994, Morris combined material from Blow Thru Your Mind and Vibrations, Themes and Serenades on a CD titled Vibrations in Time (which he released on his own By-Mor label). The worst thing about Céleste's CD reissue of Blow Thru Your Mind is the fact that there are no liner notes (at least not in English). Because Morris isn't nearly as well known as he deserves to be, Céleste should have hired someone to write liner notes — either a jazz critic or Morris himself. Nonetheless, the music on this CD is excellent. A major departure from the dissonant free jazz that Morris explored on 1969's Unity session, Blow Thru Your Mind contains modal post-bop that is melodic and relatively accessible. This is a very spiritual album; a lot of spirituality goes into the solos of Morris and trumpeter Vincent McEwan, as well as the ethereal vocals of female singer Jay Clayton (who is featured on tracks like "Ether," "Reunion," and "Transcendental Lullaby"). Blow Thru Your Mind is enthusiastically recommended to anyone who is seriously into modal jazz.
Vibrations, Themes & Serenades
Blow Thru Your Mind
Byron Morris and Unity • P.O. Box 637, Bowie, MD 20718-0637 • EMAIL CONTACT
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