Welcome to the web home of Dave Morgan and Being Time Records. You will find information about performances, compositions, and recordings on this site.
BEING TIME RECORDS RELEASES THE WAY OF SLY MAN
Thanks to a grant from Chamber Music America, we have created a brand new 80-minute piece entitled The Way of the Sly Man, a large-scale work based on the ideas of G.I. Gurdjieff. We premiered this work on the weekend of October 9-11, 2009. The 10-piece ensemble for this event featured Jack Schantz, Chris Anderson, Bill Hoyt, Howie Smith, John Klayman, Tom Reed, Dan Wall, Bob Fraser, Nate Douds, and Dave Morgan. Special guest artists on the recording include percussionist Jamey Haddad, drummer Val Kent, and vibist Ron Busch. 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 the Bascom-Little Foundation of Cleveland for a generous grant to help us record 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:
John Simna played the CD in its entirety on his wonderful WCLV 104.9 jazz program on July 11.
Thanks to our friend Jim Szabo for playing the recording on WRUW 91.1. Here's a link to his Northeast Ohio Jazz Calender:
The universally repected Willard Jenkins has been playing the recording on his jazz program on WPFW in Washington D.C.
Thanks to Jim Wilke for debuting the CD on his great syndicated show "Jazz After Hours" on PRI (Public Radio International) on July 3.
Thanks to Mike Lambert for playing the CD on his "In the Groove" program on KUSP in Santa Clara, CA.
Thanks to Shelly Masar for playing the CD on her morning show on WEFT 90.1 in Champaign, IL.
Plenty of copies of the "The Way of the Sly Man" are still available! Be sure to pick yours up today wherever CDs and mp3s are sold. 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 nice review by Matt Marshall of the recent Dave Morgan and Friends concert at the Lakeland Jazz Festival. . .
UNIVERSITY OF AKRON TO RECORDS A CD OF MY WORKS FOR BIG BAND! Released in Spring 2011.
THE SURPRISE OF BEING--LIVE AT BIRDLAND THE CLEVELAND JAZZ ORCHESTRA FEATURING JOE LOVANO
This is a great CD documenting a week at Birdland in NYC. I did all of the arrangements for this project, which included compositions by Joe Lovano, Judi Silvano, and me. Thanks to everyone who made this project possible! To purchase, go to http://clevelandjazz.org While you are there, check out all of the exciting upcoming events with our new leader Sean Jones.
RUSSELL SCHMIDT--SEASON OF CHANGE
This is a very satisfying trio recording by Russ on piano, Jim Rupp on drums, and me on bass.
SUPERIMPOSITION IN THE IMPROVISATIONS OF HERBIE HANCOCK
It has come to my attention that my article for the Annual Review of Jazz Studies is available in a .pdf format thanks to our good friends at Google. (I guess this is good thing.) Here's the link:
"REFLECTIONS AND MEDITATIONS"
A version of this piece for alto saxophone, flute, string orchestra, and percussion was recorded in Europe will be released soon by Centaur Records in Spring 2011. The University Circle Winds, the WE of the Cleveland Institute of Music, gave a stunning performance of this piece in Severance Hall on February 20, 2011. You can see a performance on youtube by following this link:
My "Three Vignettes" as recorded by the Beethoven Academy Orchestra conducted by Piotr Borkowski and saxophone virtuoso Greg Banaszak has recently been released on Romances for Saxophone and Orchestra on the Centaur Label. This is a beautiful CD! Greg will be performing this work with the Korean Chamber Symphony in March.
This new work for tuba, clarinet, and piano was premeired by my colleague Brian Kiser at the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference in Tuscon in Summer 2010.
THE ART OF SEVEN
My latest piece for wind ensemble, The Art of Seven, was commissioned by Robert Boudreau and the American Wind Symphony Orchestra. It explores many of the ideas, textures, and techniques I am captivated by at this point in my musical life. As with all of my music, I ignore the invisible walls between classical and popular music; high and low art; and the intellectual, emotional, and physical. I have no “system” I follow when I compose. I improvise to come up with raw materials that capture my imagination, then listen deeply to this material, and try to stay out of the way and allow the ideas to develop organically. The one-movement work is divided into three main sections, each characterized by an underlying rhythmic framework, or “groove.” Section I is in 7/8 time. Variety is created by subdividing the seven beats per measure in various ways, such as 2+2+3 or 3+2+2. Section II is essentially an A minor blues in 13/4 time, with the thirteen beats subdivided seven (2+2+3) plus six (2+2+2). Section III is in 4/4 time and is based on the popular 3:2 rumba clave. In all three sections the underlying rhythmic structure is delineated most clearly by the frame drummer. Slow, lyrical interludes between the three main sections serve to develop the melodic and harmonic ideas introduced in the main sections. The frame drum does not play during these sections. The “Seven” in the title of this piece refers to the Law of Seven from the philosophical system of G.I. Gurdjieff. In the Law of Seven, the diatonic scale that underlies all tonal music, with its uneven series of whole steps and half steps, serves as a simile to the orderly discontinuity in every progression o f things, from our individual awakening to the structure of cosmos. The Art of Seven is published by the C.F. Peters Corp. The AWSO under musical director Robert Boudreau also commissioned an arrangement of Persichetti's "The Hollow Men."
Being Time Records announces the release of Absent Dreamers by the Youngstown Jazz Collective. Here's a link to the CD Baby page:
THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER
Panoramicos, the wonderful Cleveland-based Chamber ensemble led by Mary Kay Ferguson recently performed this work that can be heard on their first CD. Buy it here: