MVP LSD: The Graphic Scores of Lowell Skinner Davidson
Joe Morris, John Voigt, Tom Plsek
"As with most engaging music, so much informs every moment of MVP LSD that any overarching description is futile. Each performer has a large timbral pallet, but more conventional modes of expression are also plentiful. Sample Morris's beautifully pantonal musings on "Separate Blue X" or Plsek's pointilistic punctuations on "Index Card no. 1." There is dialogue a-plenty, but the larger picture is of a trio, the three musicians often seeming to breathe as one as they explore these rich and multivalent compositional landscapes. -Mark Medwin "Dusted" 2009"
Joe Morris/Rob Brown Quartet
""They go back and forth like this for long periods until the playing turns itself inside out and swings like old-school jazz -- as interpreted by Ellery Eskelin, not Don Byas. Morris and Parker use their strings to fluctuate the tempo back and forth while Krall triple-times the entire band until they virtually collapse at the tune's end. Some of the most enduring things are the flaws; they are worn proudly, as moments frozen on tape in the heat of group interplay. It's worth owning for this alone, but it's also a challenging and deeply satisfying set of music by a short-lived but gifted quartet." -Thom Jurek "All Music""
Mêlée + Joe Morris
"There are moments of intimacy, of direct emotional delivery, and moments of stress and distress, of darkness, signs of an upcoming storm. That doesn't come. Only the tension before it. There is no real power either. And no sweetness. It gets you out of your comfort zone. Yet you want to hear it again, and again, and again. And that's usually the only yardstick that counts. A new musical experience." -Stef "Free Jazz Blog" 2009"
"In March of 2018, during guitarist Joe Morris’ stay in Calgary (see bim-75 notes for the full story), he joined the Chris Dadge/Jonathon Wilcke duo on two occasions. The first was a live performance at a tiny and packed room in the Theatre Junction GRAND building in the heart of downtown Calgary. After a stellar set from Laura Reid and Mark Limacher, Morris played a short solo set, Dadge and Wilcke played a short duo set, then the latter three played as a trio; it was their first time playing together. Later that month, the three reconvened in Dadge’s basement studio, fueled by Richard Youngs’ vegetable curry, for this sparkling burst of playing. A relative minority of Bug Incision releases are studio-based affairs, but the added clarity and sonic precision on display here greatly benefits this music, which is chock of full of dense, pointillistic playing. Wilcke’s sax work moves from fluffy free-bop melodicism to strangulated smears of sound, bringing out some inventive comping moves from Morris. Morris strikes an impressive balance between Wilcke’s saxophonic abstractions and the kinetic, tactile playing of Dadge, who is clearly relishing the opportunity to interact with such a spiky playing partner. Bug Incision could not be more pleased to present (along with bim-75) this second fine document of Morris’ Calgary saga. (Notes by Benoit Hughes) "
"Slobber Pup can command all elements of jazz, rock, and blues since the big band. There is something very appealing about this anarchy of noise that makes this "music" vital. It exists as a wakeup call for all who have been hypnotized into an artificial slumber of safety and contentment, and all the while the wolves are barking to get in..." - C. MICHAEL BAILEY "All About Jazz" (2015)"
"The entire record was freely improvised, and the relatively lengthy pieces (averaging ten minutes apiece) do not compromise at any level. You wouldn't want to play this as background music, unless you're uncannily adept at multitasking."
The Spanish Donkey
"The album is a less about the individual voices as it is the dark and foreboding movement of sound. It's at once sludgy, defiant, nuanced and textured. The shapes of the sounds are as important as the notes themselves which, like on the track 'Behavioral Sink' rises from the slash of Saft's organ and the metallic clang of Morris' guitar." -Paul Acquaro (Free Jazz Blog)"
Geometry Of Caves
Tomeka Reid, Kyoko Kitamura, Taylor Ho Bynum, Joe Morris
"The record also makes plenty of room for each of the musicians' individual strengths to emerge: Bynum is in especially fine form, with movement from lyrical beauty to pure abstraction and noise (just listen to his menacing growls on "Glowworm" as evidence); but Morris is also characteristically exceptional, whether offering prickly fragments or his patented scrapes, as he's continually seeking ways to advance the dialogue. Reid's relentless imagination leads her from chamber-like passages to motion-filled ostinato phrases that always possess compelling rhythmic energy; and Kitamura will be a revelation to those who haven't yet encountered her unique brand of vocal improvisation, turning in an instant from subtle to spasmodic." - Troy Dostert All About Jazz"