Cyberfriends by Peggy Morris



Ohio’s Peggy Morris is a composer, dancer, singer and multi-instrumentalist.  With husband Bob and drummer Chris Ceja, she has already released two albums (in 1996 and 1998) under the name Morris Code. 

Peggy and Bob toured for over a decade with dance and show bands throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada and Europe, honing the live skills that have made them a popular act in Cleveland. 

Their third album “Code a la Mode” was released at the end of 2002 and already another exciting project – involving the collaboration of musicians on both sides of the Atlantic – is complete.  There are guys from Ohio, New York, Argentina, Germany and Italy.  It’s a truly international contemporary jazz statement. 

The opener Heavenly Love is a light-hearted vocal tribute to some of jazz’s finest.  The vocal is sweet but this lady really shines when she picks up the flute.  It’s a pretty song which takes a couple of plays to grab you. 

Elsewhere on this site you can read about the music of Argentinian guitarist Daniel Martina.  On Movimientos del Paraná you’ll hear not only his talent as co-writer but his exquisite semi-acoustic sound.  Peggy’s soprano sax is joyous – this song is really classy.  Me gusta mucho – I really like it! 

The mood is more sombre for the thoughtful Who I Want to Be.  Co-writer Mathias Claus paints a very elaborate background on piano then the dancing flute returns.  I like Peggy Morris’s sound as much as any flautist I’ve heard – that includes my heroes Dave Valentin, Hubert Laws and Kent Jordan.  It’s a very well engineered sound too. 

Similar sentiments but a wackier, funkier backdrop on Who Am I.  Claus’s keyboards are “out there” but that gritty sax stays out in front.  The rocky guitar solo strays a little too far from the path for me.  It’s a disjointed sound, which comes as a shock after the previous song. 

Oh, but the mellow Latin groove of Sneek’n brings the smile back.  Husband Bob is on bass and Chris Ceja does just what’s needed on drums.  The whole sound is very together.  I love the bass solos and the clean soprano sax – it’s joyous, that’s the only word I can use.  Great piano, great percussion too – the song really has it all. 

The backing to I Love You More comes from the bass of New Yorker Bill Lawrence.  Peggy stretches out vocally and hits some high notes.  This bass/vocal duet is original and should have done it for me – but I didn’t really get involved… 

It’s time for husband and wife to really throw down on Thank You.  This song (with its full title of Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) has been performed by Sly Stone and Maceo Parker, so you can see where they’re coming from.  Now I’m involved!  Bob’s bass gets down and funky and his keyboards produce all kinda crazy ‘70’s sounds in the background.  Comparisons with Candy Dulfer will be inevitable because Peggy struts like crazy on this number.  That flute, though, that flute just floats blissfully over the top of it all.  The high-register, layered chant vocal really works for me on this funk gem. 

As a vocalist, Peggy Morris is pleasant to listen to, as a sax player she’s energetic and involving.  On the flute, she’s positively inspired and it’s exciting to think of the fantastic music we can expect from her, from Morris Code and from other collaborations in the future.  The energy that her main band produce in their Cleveland shows clearly transfers to the studio – this lady’s career will be one to watch!



MoCode Records – cat no. MCD7404 – Producers Peggy Morris/Bob Morris