Joe Morris (born Joseph Francis Michael Morris, September 13, 1955) is an American jazz guitarist. In addition to leading his own groups, he has recorded with William Parker, Whit Dickey, Rob Brown, Joe Maneri and others. Much of his output has been on his own record label, Riti.
Morris was born in New Haven, Connecticut, United States; an important early mentor and playing partner was the legendary but little-recorded pianist Lowell Davidson. Morris is perhaps the most significant guitarist to play free jazz since Sonny Sharrock. Morris has stated that his flowing single-note technique was inspired more by traditional African musics, and by saxophone players like Eric Dolphy and Jimmy Lyons, than by other guitarists. He does not use distortion or effects, preferring a "clean" sound, but has made occasional use of a serrated pick to "bow" the strings of his guitar, creating an otherworldly, harmonic-rich sound. He also plays banjo and banjo-uke, and in recent years has increasingly focused on playing bass.
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Famous quotes containing the words joe and/or morris:
“This might be the end of the world. If Joe lost we were back in slavery and beyond help. It would all be true, the accusations that we were lower types of human beings. Only a little higher than apes. True that we were stupid and ugly and lazy and dirty and, unlucky and worst of all, that God Himself hated us and ordained us to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, forever and ever, world without end.”
—Maya Angelou (b. 1928)
“The white dominant culture seemed to think that once the Indians were off the reservations, theyd eventually become like everybody else. But they arent like everybody else. When the Indianness is drummed out of them, they are turned into hopeless drunks on skid row.”
—Elizabeth Morris (b. c. 1933)