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Charisma (1966)

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Billy Higgins

This set (reissued on CD in 1997) was one of trumpeter Lee Morgan's lesser-known Blue Note recordings but it is quite rewarding. The notable sextet (which also includes altoist Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley on tenor, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Billy Higgins) performs originals by Morgan, Walton and Duke Pearson, including particularly catchy versions of the funky "Hey Chico" and Pearson's memorable "Sweet Honey Bee" (which should have become a hit). The three horns, all of whom sound quite individual, each have their exciting moments, and the results are quintessential mid-'60s hard bop. ~ Scott Yanow