Change Partners: By Dick Morrissey

Dick Morrissey (1940-2000) was a British jazz tenor saxophone player who had the misfortune to arrive on the music scene just when British popular music and jazz were in rapid decline. The early death of the outstanding sax player Tubby Hayes left Morrissey the undisputed master in the UK. Unfortunately Morrissey was a victim of several types of cancer and he spent his last years playing from a wheelchair.

In 1983 he teamed up with pianist John Critchinson, bass player Ron Mathewson, Drummer Martin Drew and trumpeter Barry Whitworth to record the album “After Dark”. Guitarist Jim Mullen was a guest on 4 tracks but was not on our choice of “Change Partners”.

This timeless masterpiece was written by Irving Berlin in 1938 for a film featuring Fred Astaire, who sang it in the film. The definitive vocal recording was made by Frank Sinatra with Carlos Jobim (gtr) in 1967.

Morrissey gave the melody a jazz treatment and a fast tempo and surely no-one could have played it better. It is not his superb technique which makes this version a stand-out but Morrissey’s sheer energy and joyfulness. Here you can share the experience of a musician who has no limits to his technique, self expression and instant composition. Enjoy and be liberated!

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