Last Monday, February 3rd, alto saxophonist Frank Morgan (born Dec.23, 1933) was performing in Belgium in the legendary ‘Hnita Hoeve,’ known by most jazz musicians worldwide as "Jules’ Place."
For nearly 55 years, the greatest names in jazz have been playing at Jules’ Place; Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Chet Baker, Sonny Rollins, Abbey Lincoln, Art Pepper, Lee Konitz, Roy Hargrove, Mike Stern. You name them, he had them!
It was an honor for both Jules and Frank that this unforgettable concert could take place. Not one single seat remained empty. For most of the audience, this gig was considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience, obviously knowing who they came for.
Just imagine if Frank Morgan would not have been in prison almost constantly from 1955 until 1985 [30 years for possession of drugs]. There’s no doubt that he would have been considered as important as his 13 year older idol, Charlie Parker. Actually, the concert somehow sounded like a tribute to the old master of bebop, featuring standards like "Now’s The Time" and "Parker’s Mood."
The Dutch trio that accompanied Frank Morgan featured Rein de Graaff on piano, Marius Beets on double bass and Eric Ineke on drums. Once again, Rein proved to be one of the most outstanding bepbop piano players in Europe.