On February 19, 1972, two days after the combo tracks on this disc were recorded, trumpeter Lee Morgan's life was taken by his companion. This music is therefore the final document of a jazz immortal; and Morgan's playing, particularly on his theme song "Speedball" and the original that leader Charles Earland posthumously titled in his honor, remind us of the jazz world's loss. Yet Morgan is not the only story here. Earland included three of his patented soul-drenched covers of pop material, putting a whole new spin on hits by Chicago, Carole King, and Boz Scaggs. Hubert Laws, Billy Cobham, and Billy Harper are among the other jazz heavies who get caught up in the Mighty Burner's infectious vibe; and the two bonus tracks (taken from Earland's subsequent release Charles III) present all of the Earland/Morgan material in one package for the first time.
with Lee Morgan, Virgil Jones, Victor Paz, Jon Faddis, Jack Jeffers, Billy Harper, Hubert Laws, Maynard Parker, Sonny Morgan, Billy Cobham, and others