Dick Morrissey

Dick Morrissey, a saxophonist from Britain, was a leader in the UK fusion movement. He teamed up with Jim Mullen. Morrissey was born May 9, 1940 in Horley (England). He learned the clarinet when he was 16 years old, and later learned how to play all the saxophones as well as the flute. While he was still a young jeweler, Morrissey played in the Original Climax Jazz Band. He then joined Gus Galbraith’s septet as a trumpeter. There, Pete King, an alto saxophonist, introduced Morrissey, his main inspiration, to Charlie Parker. For many years, his preferred instrument was the tenor saxophone. He eventually switched to bebop as well. Morrissey started his own quartet in 1960, and his debut album, It’s Morrissey Man! was released the next year. He spent most of 1962 in Calcutta with the Ashley Kozak Quartet, during their long stay at the Trincas Restaurant. After his return to Britain, he formed the new quartet with Phil Bates (bassist), Phil South (pianist), and Phil Seaman (drummer). They performed regularly at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club, where they also cut the Mercury LP Storm Warning. Morrissey supported visiting American musicians such as trombonist J.J. Johnson and cut a live LP in 1966 with blues legend Jimmy Witherspoon. Morrissey was able to adapt his bold, fluid style to more abstract settings as free jazz was emerging. He founded If in 1969 with Terry Smith, a pioneering jazz-rock group. Although influenced by American bands Blood and Sweat, Morrissey was not averse to the American music.

Leave a Comment