The exotic sounding title cut, "City Lights," is an up-tempo swinging affair that lets Morgan, tenor saxophonist George Coleman, and trombonist Curtis Fuller stretch out their post-bop fieriness on top of the relentless sizzle of Art Taylor’s ride cymbal. After pianist Ray Bryant, and bassist Paul Chambers (bow in hand) get a chance to show off their wares, Taylor and Morgan trade fours and build the intensity to dizzying heights.
Fuller leads off the soloing on "Tempo De Waltz" with a weaving of swinging melodic ideas that dance gracefully over the bouncy 3/4 tempo. Morgan sings with power and conviction on the beautiful ballad "You’re Mine." Listening to his solo reminds one of the incredible innovations forged in the 1950s by young lions like Morgan and Clifford Brown. "Kin Folks," a Gigi Gryce greaser closes the session in a wonderful bluesy way. The arrangement is incredibly slick and everyone gets a chance to blow.
This is a wonderful reissue (part of Blue Note’s Rudy Van Gelder series) featuring five giants of jazz who were young, on fire, and ready to take the world by storm. A must have!