Welcome to the web home of Dave Morgan and Being Time Records. You will find information about performances, compositions, and recordings on this site.
I have many composition and arranging projects brewing this summer. I am preparing the music for a new recording of my big band compositions, which will be recorded in Fall 2016. I am composing a French horn concerto for the horn virtuoso Stacie Mickens to be premiered in Spring 2017. I am arranging the music of Charlie Parker for alto saxophonist Greg Banaszak, jazz quartet and orchestra, to be recorded in Warsaw, Poland in May 2017. I am also very excited about a new piece for two soprano saxophonists commissioned by Dr. Jason Kush. I have a brand new piece for big band commissioned by OPCICA that will be premiered January 29, 2017 in Marietta, OH.
THE WAY OF SLY MAN to be performed in 2017!
The Way of the Sly Man, a large-scale work based on the ideas of G.I. Gurdjieff, originally released in 2010, will be performed as part of the Kulas Concert Series on March 19, 2017. The music draws on a variety of influences, including American jazz and pop, the music of Gurdjieff/DeHartmann, and the sacred and secular musics of the Middle East, India, and Africa.Thanks to Chamber Music America and Bascom-Little Foundation of Cleveland for generous grants that allowed us to create The Way of the Sly Man.
You can purchase the CD on cdbaby.com by following this link. . .
Donald Rosenberg of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote that The Way of the Sly Man "is a work of dazzling and haunting originality, deeply expressive, richly scored and abounding in contemplative and swinging personality - and played to the hilt by an ensemble of brilliant local musicians." You can read his entire article about the recording via this link:
Matt Marshall crafted a very perceptive review on the influential website All About Jazz.
Carlo Wolff wrote a fine piece for Ohio Authority. His review in the Jazz Times is forthcoming.
The recording was profiled on the "Around Noon" program on WCPN, 90.3 Ideastream (Cleveland, OH). Many thanks to Dee Perry and Dan Polletta for this great spot:
Here is a review published in the November 2010 JazzTimes:
You don't have to know the work of the spiritualist G.I. Gurdjieff to revel in this complex, heady recording dedicated to his teachings. Bassist Dave Morgan, who wrote all nine tracks, explains Gurdjieff in his liner notes.
Rather, the music speaks for itself. It's urgent, funny, tender, pulse-pounding. It features some of the best musicians in the Cleveland area, including Morgan, world rhythm master Jamey Haddad, trumpeter Jack Schantz, keyboardist Dan Wall, guitarist Bob Fraser, saxophonist Howie Smith, and drummer Nathan Douds. It's all over the map, and wonderfully so, from the brooding tone poem of "The Search" to the otherworldly stomp of "Karnak" to the 12-bar blues of "Identifyin" (Blues for G). It all works, making Sly Man an early contender for a top spot in the 2010 critic's polls.
Among the highlights" "The Law of Three," a hard-rocking cut with a samba mid-section setting the creamy saxes of Smith and John Klayman against the penetrating trombone of Chris Anderson and Wall's piano stitching; the sweet chorale of "Bhakti"; and the soulful "Identifyin'" featuring Anderson, Klayman's funky sax and Val Kent's feathery drumming. The musicianship is flawless, the production crisp, the soundscape expansive.
Morgan is exceptional at contrasting voicing and rhythmic complexity. "Karnak," built on a 4/4 platform, bristles with trickier rhythms, making it dizzying and stimulating, particularly when Smith unfurls fearless free sax and keyboardist Wall burns as hot as Joe Zawinul ever did.
Here's a nice piece by Aidan Plank:
"This week's featured artist is Dave Morgan. Dave's most recent record The Way of the Sly Man has been getting some serious play in my personal collection over the past 3 weeks and I am pleased to feature it on this week's show. The album features the amazing talents of Howie Smith, Jack Shantz, Dan Wall, Nate Douds, Bob Fraser, Val Kent, Jamey Haddad (just to name a few). I highly recommend buying it and checking it out.
Here's why: I feel, honestly, that the writing on this album is about as good as you will hear anywhere in the world. Dave is a wonderful bass player, but it seems to me that his true gift is his amazing ability as a composer and arranger. For those of us who were around to hear the wonderful band The Jazz Unit playing weekly at the Bop Stop in Cleveland, we know just how good Dave's writing is. Beautiful melodies, beautiful harmonies, wonderfully interesting ideas, quirkiness at times, joyfulness, excitement, burning tempos, distorted Bob Fraser solos, soaring Jack Shantz features. And, perhaps the greatest strength of the music is Dave's willingness to attempt new things. Not just falling back on old, tried-and-true tricks, but constantly evolving as a composer. Dave is just as likely to arrange a Bill Evans solo from Turn Out The Stars for a 13 piece big band as he is to arrange the works of Frank Zappa. And, frankly, it is that fearless investigation into what is authentic and true in the music at present that is what the jazz world needs.
We so easily seem to fall into appreciating the strange historical performance ideology of recreating classic works of the past and fail to explore the infinite possibilities of the future in the jazz community. I find this strange because, to me, the essence of this music is reinventing the wheel. It is taking old forms, merging them with new, and creating something that both familiar and perplexing in the moment.
As I mentioned earlier, the album also features a handful of the true gems of the Cleveland jazz scene. Having heard all of these folks many times, I can honestly endorse the fact that they are as good as it gets. The music caters so beautifully to their individual strengths and character, which is another testament to Dave's writing...the ability to recognize unique talent and to use it to create the stories expressed in the music (I will say over and over again that this music is truly about telling stories...your story, our story, the story of the future and that past at once).
You can see Dave Morgan throughout northern Ohio, playing with jazz's best known and unknown musicians, which I highly recommend. There are few guys on the planet that know more about the craft of music and are willing to sit back in the dog house that is the bass player's seat. (No praise, no glory, and plenty of room for blame.)"
Aidan Plank (2/25/11) http://somethinelsewobc.blogspot.com
Forms of Things Unknown, composed by Dave Morgan and performed by the Youngstown Percussion Collective, is available from Amazon, I-tunes, and CD Baby. It is also available directly from the YPC website. Here's a link to the the CD Baby page:
Here's a link to the YPC website:
Here's a video of Joe Lovano playing one of my arrangements of his music with the Julliard Jazz Orchestra: