Ramon Morris

Ramon Morris is an American jazz-funk saxophonist who was briefly active during the early 1970s.

Debuting in a latter-day incarnation of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Morris quickly spread his talents over 1972–73 releases by Reuben Wilson, Curtis Fuller, Shirley Scott, and Woody Shaw — credits that afforded him a one-off deal with Groove Merchant.

Released in 1973, Sweet Sister Funk hears the saxist’s sandy tones amidst the smoky keyboards of Albert Dailey and the competitive trumpet blasts of Cecil Bridgewater. On the self-composed “Wijinia,” Morris alternates speedy vibrato with fluid sustain over a slow-flowing, bass-circulated, Rhodes-filled sonic seabed. Working the same arrangement at a slightly risen tone and tempo, “Lord Sideways” allows the headliner ample room to blow and billow amidst a loose yet persistent bass/Rhodes theme in 6/4.

Suitably-named four-stringer Mickey Bass contributes “Sweat,” where he walks around a dizzying array of chords that facilitate brisk Morris/Bridgewater trade-offs and breakneck arpeggiated runs from Dailey and guitarist Lloyd Davis. Walking basslines from middle-C allow further lungblasts on “Don’t Ask Me,” which hears Morris scaling upward and back during the first half and Bridgewater stuffing decorative notes around the theme during the second half.

Dailey’s mid-tempoed, mono-keyed “First Come, First Serve” surrenders all attention to sax/trumpet charts, while the jumpy title-track pushes Morris into borderline expressionist territory. An instrumental take on the always-invigorating Creed/Bell standard “People Make The World Go Round” fills out the set.

Though Morris never recorded a followup, select tracks from his coveted long-player are often picked by compilers in the 21st century.

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