Joe Morris Quartet – Today On Earth

Joe Morris Quartet – Today On Earth

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[AUM058] - CD in 4-panel digipak

Joe Morris: guitar, compositions
Jim Hobbs: alto saxophone
Timo Shanko: bass
Luther Gray: drums

Simultaneous to having achieved deserved acclaim for his ascendant work on upright bass [hear Wildlife] during the year which preceded this recording, Joe Morris kept his incomparable & singular voice on the guitar in highly notable flex mode: on David S. Ware's Shakti; the William Parker Orchestra's Double Sunrise Over Neptune; a 4xCD set of improvised duos with Anthony Braxton, for example.

"The preeminent free music guitarist of his generation" –DownBeat

Here the master brings guitar full fore once again with a blessed Quartet on a brand new set of indelibly melodic tunes that are rendered with deep swing and profound essence. Joining him in doing so are Jim Hobbs & Timo Shanko [both of The Fully Celebrated; do check their AUM debut!] and likewise long-time associate, Luther Gray [who also features on Wildlife].

From the liner notes by Joe Morris:
"I call what I play Free Music because I want to be free to render my work in any way I feel necessary to express my feelings and ideas. My colleagues here are as strong and expressive as any players ever when it comes to dealing with this kind of material. I’m lucky to be able to work with them. The title of this recording suggests the idea that is at the core of my artistic goals; a reminder to have a simple instant of realization, a second of reflection about our lives standing on this planet floating in the universe."

"Here with his quartet of saxophonist Jim Hobbs, bassist Timo Shanko and drummer Luther Gray, Morris is at his most eloquent. He writes for these guys as gracefully as he does for himself. The group responds with revelatory musical voyages." –Tad Hendrickson, Spinner [Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2009 = #1 !]

Hour Magazine (Ottawa, CA) : Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2009 = #1 !

"Peerless guitarist Joe Morris at his most accessible; exuberantly swinging. Today on Earth has it all: smart compositional structures that launch tasty, unpredictable improvisations” –Jay Collins, Signal To Noise

“Joe Morris continues to expand his prodigious output with varied work, refining and redefining his identity as an inventive and deeply principled improviser. The depth and profundity of the results from these disparate endeavors bear the mark of an innovative artist with decades of experience. Longtime Morris collaborators Hobbs, Shanko and Gray all shine throughout this record. Hobbs’ solo on “Animal” is nothing short of astounding in its abstract lyricism, replete with throaty vocalizations, dramatic use of negative space and a gradually expanding phrase structure. Shanko and Gray form an inspiring rhythm section, providing driving energy on the title cut and on “Imaginary Solutions”, deep pocket on “Animal” and “Backbone”, and subtle atmospheric textures on “Observer” and “Ashes”. Morris’ compositions linger in the ear, as the ensemble dynamics in the improvisations always develop and enrich the evocative themes.” –Wilbur MacKenzie, All About Jazz-New York

"Today On Earth is a stellar highlight in an exceptional, eclectic discography." –Troy Collins, All About Jazz

“To my ears, it's one of his best. Straddling, or better yet, blurring the lines between group improvisation, freedom, and melody while dissolving the barriers of genre, the ensemble digs into this music.” –Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant

"Morris is a master of mixing total improvisational freedom with a realization that swing can be just as liberating as skronk, that a clean tone can say as much as, if not more than, a coruscating flood-tide of noise. Indeed, this album is so pretty that its adventurousness may slip right by on the first few listens." –Phil Freeman, All Music Guide

1. Backbone - 10:47    
2. Animal - 08:41    
3. Today on Earth - 10:52    
4. Observer - 11:41    
5. Embarrassment of Riches - 06:49
6. Ashes - 07:52    
7. Imaginary Solutions - 10:33

released October 13, 2009

All compositions by Joe Morris, © Riti Publishing (ASCAP)

Produced by Joe Morris
Recorded June 17, 2009 at 7A West Studios, Charlestown, MA
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Mike Caglianone
Liner notes by Joe Morris