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Night Dreamer [LP]
Vinyl | LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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Night Dreamer (feat. Lee Morgan, Reginald Workman & Elvin Jones) ( The Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, March 1, 2005
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A Blue Note essential, Night Dreamer is part of the Blue Note 75 anniversary vinyl reissue campaign, featuring 100 titles. Key to the initiative is high quality audio at affordable prices. Blue Note launched a partnership with indie record stores called Blue Note Authorized Dealers which supports the Blue Note LP reissues.
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Top customer reviews
He was backed up by outstanding musicians. I happen to be a big fan of Lee Morgan and already owned some Morgan CDs that featured Shorter --"Search for the New Land" and "The Gigolo"; I would have been glad to have any additional album featuring them together, but that is especially true when the compositions are so distinctive. Actually, Morgan only plays on "Night Dreamer", "Oriental Folk Song", "Black Nile", and "Armegeddon". Maybe Shorter wanted to prove to Blue Note that he could sustain listeners' interest in a quartet; his next album "JuJu" did in fact feature the same quartet heard here on "Virgo" and "Charcoal Blues" for that entire album.
The album and title track open with a wonderful series of runs on the piano played by McCoy Tyner before launching into the theme. Shorter, Morgan, and Tyner all deliver solos which maintain the dream-like mood which Shorter extends with a second solo before the return of the closing theme statement. Even then, Shorter is not done and spins out one more solo. This tune really sets a high bar for the album, but the remaining tunes meet this challenge.
"Oriental Folk Song" doesn't really sound that oriental to me, but it is a charming, mellow tune featuring more fine solos and some drum breaks. "Virgo" is a lovely ballad full of mystery; one of the most beautiful original jazz melodies I know of. "Black Nile" is a fast, hard bop number. It is followed by "Charcoal Blues" which needs no explanation (except for Morgan's absence). The entire quintet caps off the session with the vibrant "Armegeddon" which Shorter described as the "focal point of the whole album"; despite the title, it is not at all gloomy since Shorter does not view "Armegeddon" as being the final battle of good and evil, but "a period of total enlightenment in which we will discover what we are and why we are here".
This is surely one of the greatest debut albums Blue Note ever released. I think it's just as good as Shorter's "JuJu" and "Speak No Evil" albums that followed it.