This month’s artist feature is about my longtime friend, the gifted musician and bassist Thomas Morgan. I cannot recall all the meals that Thomas and I have shared over the years but in the last decade, Thomas has followed a macrobiotic diet and I have learned to make many delicious dishes to ensure that we continue sharing meals together. Thomas really enjoys my macrobiotic granola which I make whenever I get the chance.
I met Thomas when he was at the tender age of 18 and even then, you just knew something amazing was happening with this young man. Thomas has been in NYC since 1999 and from the moment he began his studies at Manhattan School of Music, his performance career started to flourish. Now he is one of the busiest musicians I know.
The first time I saw him perform was with the drummer Joey Baron, and guitarists, Steve Cardenas and Adam Levy at the no longer existing venue, Tonic in NYC. His clarity of sound and unbelievable sense of time were just two of the many amazing features of his playing.
There are too many groups and projects to mention in which Thomas is an active member. Including my toy instrument band (in which he plays guitar!) and my quartet, Thomas regularly performs with guitarist Jakob Bro‘s trio, Craig Taborn‘s trio, Dan Weiss and Jacob Sacks trios and was a long time member of the Steve Coleman group, David Binney band and the late Paul Motian band. Most recently, Thomas has been playing with guitarist Bill Frisell.
If you would like to check out Thomas playing live in the next month or so you will have to get yourself over to Europe. Currently he is on tour with Jakob Bro’s trio and will continue touring in Europe with pianist Giovanni Guidi. In April, you can check him out at drummer Dan Weiss’ CD release show at The Jazz Gallery on April 11 and 12. You can also hear him at Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall) with the Jacob Sacks Trio on May 28.
I had my first gig in NYC with Thomas Morgan in 2000 and ever since then, he has been my favorite bass player and one of my favorite musicians ever.
A little amazing fact about Thomas: he does not own a cell phone! How is that even possible this day and age? Just goes to show you that great talent can be sought out by any means necessary. I admire Thomas for having the ability to not be enslaved by modern technology. With a crazy schedule like his, not owning a cell phone is probably the best way to get a little quiet.