Morris Code - Code a la Mode
Code - Ohio /USA based live band - shows up with the release of
their third album. At Morris Code's core is Peggy, a multi-talented
musician, songwriter and dancer who leads the group with a
charismatic, unmatched enthusiasm. She moves effortlessly from soulful
vocalizations to explosive saxophone and flute solos. As bassist, Bob
provides the band's backbone with a unique approach to each song's
harmonic structure. Meanwhile, drummer Chris Ceja delivers a
bottomless groove that keeps audiences on their feet. The band is
adding guest musicians for recordings and concerts enhancing the sound
and style of the basic trio. Aside intensive live playing in USA the
band has recently appeared as succesfull act in the online music buzz
as well and also has taken advantage of recent production techniques
of internet based collaboration recording techniques of their members.
This way a track with German guest pianist Mathias Claus - an
experienced specialist in this field - finds his debut on "Code a
la Mode", the piano tracks have been added via internet.
On first view the album
continues the well known style of the band transferring it to a higher
level in production, sound and variety. Don Safraneks percussions add
a rich live character, Richard Parks does a great work with funky
guitar lines, Aaron Lindsay adds professional keyboard colours and
style-versatile soloings and Mathias Claus takes responsibility for a
"Coreaish" virtuosly salsa and latin jazz piano touch.
Undoubtly the guests have enhanced the spectrum of the band.
A great variety of styles is
another progress coming up with the new release, besides the guest
artist additions extended experiences as a live band might be the
cause as the album shows versatile types of grooves and styles,
interesting arrangements enriched with lots of unison parts and
surprising breaks without loosing ground. In summary the albums
variety might want you to listen one of the bands live shows. Not one
of those albums running groove samples in several variations, its
content is taken directly lively from stage experience.
funky opener is Goosebumps on a
mighty bass by Bob Morris, typical for his playing style. Richard
Parks adds a light funk flavour underlining Peggy Morris' sax theme
overdubbed by several horns of the multiinstrumentalist.
is a mix of funky and latin elements, Peggys sax theme as usual sounds
very melodic based on her musical experience as singer and the Morris
Code' message coming from a togetherness of heart, mind, and soul. A
latin percussion break of drummer Chris Ceja and percussionist Don
Safranek spends the appropriate latin flavour, Peggys sax solo shines
light as a feather.
Following two jazzy introduction tracks Fughedaboudit
now introduces Peggy as singer. Soulfull vocals and colorfull
background harmonies by overdubbings communicate with a melodic flute
theme. In her final flute part Peggy reminds us a bid to the playing
techniques of rock virtuoso Ian Anderson from legendary band Jethro
Tull. Her qualities as flute artist are rare in our days.
World Song is a highlight of the album
showing up in a composing type used by Mike Manieri's Steps Ahead
whose band had introduced computer sequences over steady groove beats
in the 80's - Morris Code use a marimba for this purpose. Typical
world ambience as the title tells peaked by a very spicy outside
playing within Aron Lindseys keyboard solo using sounds of the
legendary Moog synth flavour greatly answered by Peggys solo trades.
Great track with a professional outfit.
A rich melodic movement on an ostinato bass groove presents the
soft smooth jazz track Sweet Dreams.
Peggy as usual enriches her warm and mellow saxophone colors with lots
of vibrato. Sweetest dreams expressed by this track with smooth jazz
is a typical Morris Code style with shifting harmonies over heavy
funky bass ostinato creating the floor for intensive communicative
solo trading. Brilliant players are guitarist Richard Parks and
drummer Chris Ceja. The band surprises with a swing break in the final
starts with an introducing piano solo of the great German pianist
Mathias ("Mat") Claus. He has a remarkable Salsa feeling
comparable to the Salsa king Joseph Diamond. Very impressive Peggy
Morris' elegant soprano sax play.
Mr. Ackerbild is greeting. This is the perfect Latin flavor.
Circle we listen to a professional smooth jazz outfit again, a
carpet of soft electric piano introduces a flute ballad with
surprising chord changes adding a fine flair to the pop/rock ballad
groove type. Great double time synthesizer solo again by Aaron Linsey
and Bob Morris ending the song with a melodic bass solo.
is a funky vocal track with backing brass, Chris Ceja with straight
grooves, cheeky sax solo phrases by Peggy.
Karma: ...and Code has the chops, bopin introduction mixed with
fusion breaks lead to swingin Hammond organs and a powerfull sax solo.
So Far Away
is a beautifull melody underlined by freely piano lines and mysterious
harmonies. We have been waiting for Peggy to show some of her scat
vocals from her prior albums, the scat ending is way too short but we
love it. Whatever she sings - lead, backing harmonies, scat, high
notes - you will love it, an outstanding vocalist with a warm unique
expression and lots of feeling plus a message of love and humanity.
To The Hip Bone presents Acid Jazz sound mix - just to mention
the great sound quality of the overall mixes by Bob Morris at this
point as well - the drum tracks and bass solos are driven through
frequency filters with heavy phasing effects provided by up to date
mixing softwares that provide a futuristic perspective for Morris
Codes prospective and forward looking coming developments.
The album could be considered
smooth jazz with a copious touch of jazz by sophisticated harmonies
and intensive jazz soloing, bound together by a very melodic approach
of front lady Peggy Morris. Groove with Soul with a fantastic singer
and multinstrumentalist in front and a versatile rhythm section with
live qualities and the grooves definetly "in the pocket".
This album is for smooth jazz connoisseurs with a jazz touch. See you
at Morris Code live shows.
MoCode Records / Mo n Me
Music 2002 ASCAP
Recorded at M & M
Recording, Sheffield Lake, OH USA
Peggy Morris (saxes, vocals,
flute) - Bob Morris (bass) - Chris Ceja (drums) - Aaron Lindsay
(keyboards) - Mathias Claus (piano) - Richard Parks (guitars) - Don