Carol Morgan – She Gets It
I remember doing a recording session with Carol Morgan where I was playing lead trumpet. There was a discrepancy between the way I was phrasing and the way the rest of the horn section was phrasing and it was about to turn into an argument because I couldn’t communicate very well about what I was doing and what I wanted from the rest of the horn section. At that point, Carol spoke up and told the guys, with much more clarity than I was ever able to do, precisely HOW “Eddie does it.” We had worked together often enough that Carol understood my style and she was able to express that in words much better than I was.
That was the day when I realized that “Carol gets it!”
Carol Morgan is the next person to be featured in my Life Builders series. She is a very different kind of trumpet player with great big ears and a big heart to hear with them. It is very obvious when you meet her that she cares a great deal about almost everyone.
The Perfect Sideman (ahem… Sidewoman)
Because Carol Morgan is equally successful as a jazz musician and a classical player, I have hired her to work with my brass ensemble and for various recording sessions. Her skills combined with her enthusiastic and positive attitude make her the best sideman I’ve ever worked with. As a leader, she always makes my job easier.
This has helped me from both sides of the business. As a leader it is clear that Carol is a blessing as a sideman. I mean, that’s common sense. But the fact that I am ambidextrous, easily switching sides and being a sideman myself, in that light Carol becomes an example for me to follow in my own life as a sideman. Carol inspires me to be as helpful and easy to work with for all of the band leaders I work for as she was for me.
The Empathetic Band Leader
I have never worked in one of Carol’s bands, but I know that she is more active today as a leader than she was when she was living here in Houston. I have no doubt that she is probably a wonderful leader to work for. Not only does she have plenty of experience as a sideman, giving her the insight into that life which many leaders lack, but she also has a truly empathetic heart. You can tell that she cares about people and isn’t just using them to get somewhere.
Carol has made several recordings and I strongly recommend that anyone who is interested in where jazz is going today should check them out. Here is a link to her products page on her website. If you ever have a chance to hear Carol play a live jazz show, you owe it to yourself to be there. Her music is as alive and energetic as her personality.
Duet Party and Other Projects
Carol is a people person. I’m not. There have been several times when we shared ideas and she made them happen when, if I was left to my own devices, I probably wouldn’t have made it work. One example of this was the duet party we had when my Celebrations book was done. I just mentioned the idea of getting together to play through the book and Carol took the idea and ran with it. We had a great time and it really helped me to go through the entire book once before sending it off to the printers.
This kind of proactive organizational enthusiasm was a great help for me in the earliest stages of the business (the “business” I’m referring to now is not my career, but the business that Pearl and I are building together). I have too many irons in the proverbial fire and scheduling rehearsals and meetings and such has been a little low on the priority list lately. Carol is a mover and a shaker, so it was good to be blessed by her that way.
I don’t think I ever thanked her as I should have. That’s part of what these Life Builders posts are for. This is when I take the opportunity to thank the people who have made a difference in my life. Carol is certainly someone who has made a significant contribution.
As I’ve said before, it is very difficult, in fact impossible to acknowledge ever single way that different people have contributed to my life. I won’t even pretend that I’ve covered it all. I think more important than anything else is just taking the time to say thank you.
So thank you Carol. I do appreciate you and I miss working with you.