The Sidewinder is a 1964 album by jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan, recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, New Jersey. It was released on Blue Note label as BLP 4157 and BST 84157. The title track was one of the defining recordings of the soul jazz genre, becoming a jazz standard. An edited version was released as a single. The album was to become a huge seller, and highly influential - many subsequent Lee Morgan albums, and other Blue Note discs, would duplicate (or approximate) this album's format, by following a long, funky opening blues with a handful of conventional hard bop tunes. Record producer Michael Cuscuna recalls the unexpected success: "the company issued only 4,000 copies upon release. Needless to say, they ran out of stock in three or four days. And "The Sidewinder" became a runaway smash making the pop 100 charts." Said piece would be even used for TV ads as well as a theme for television shows.
The original album's five tracks feature tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, then 26, whom Morgan (then 25) claimed at the time to be mentoring. Also present are the noted jazz drummer Billy Higgins, and double bassist Bob Cranshaw, who would soon switch to electric bass and begin a decades-long association with Sonny Rollins.
All of the compositions were written by Morgan; all but the Cole Porter-like "Hocus Pocus" are heavily blues-based. "The Sidewinder" was adapted as the music of a Chrysler television commercial.
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