Professor of Music Thomas Erdmann had an article published in the professional trumpet journal.
Professor Thomas Erdmann in the Department of Music had an article published in the June 2020 issue of The International Trumpet Guild Journal.
The article, “Carol Morgan: Jazz is Where I Get to be Me,” is about New York jazz trumpeter, composer, teacher, and author Carol Morgan. She does something few jazz musicians ever dare to dream, she works playing live jazz steadily in New York City. A quick look at her calendar and you’ll see 20 or more gigs a month at places like Milano’s Bar, Small’s Jazz Club, The Bar Next Door, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, The Blue Note, The 55 Bar, The Iridium, and The Bad Old Days and The Factory in Queens, among others (not to mention her overseas performances). Morgan has achieved this high distinction through the hard work of steady and highly organized practicing, the ability to play her instrument live in a fresh and exciting manner without hackneyed and tired clichés, the strong communication she and her bandmates achieve, and always finding new things to say through her instrument. The critics agree. DownBeat gave her Blue Glass Music recording the coveted 4½ star rating, JazzTimes praised her playing so much it asked, “why isn’t she signed to a popular label?,” and Cadence magazine stated, “Morgan is someone to hear and to admire.” Two famed critics sum her up best. Bill Milkowski wrote Morgan is, “A sparkling, mature but under-recognized trumpeter,” and Chris Spector said she and her band, “open a can of whup ass.”
Morgan’s background includes Trumpet Performance degrees from the University of Texas, Bachelor’s, and a Master’s from Juilliard. She followed this by teaching for 10 years in the San Jacinto College System in Texas before returning to New York and setting the town on fire. Currently leading multiple bands including the Carol Morgan Trio, Retroactive, Carol & Company, the Carol Morgan Quartet, and co-leading Gingerbred with saxophonist and Elon grad Brad Linde, she also takes selected sidemusician jobs when not working as a leader. As a trumpeter Morgan has the chops to not just play jazz but also the most demanding orchestral music as she demonstrated while a member of the Juilliard Orchestra in multiple performances including selections such as Mahler’s Seventh Symphony.
This, however, is just the beginning of her story. As a composer she has been given commissions from Houston’s DiverseWorks, the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble, Arch-diocese of Houston/Galveston, and Houston’s St. Thomas Presbyterian Church. As an educator and author her jazz improvisation textbook, “The Practicing Improviser,” now in its third edition, cuts directly to the core of what it takes to be a successful jazz musician: the need to develop one’s ears, mind and soul. Not full of endless patterns, it speaks directly to the person who is trying to improve one’s ability and should be required reading for any jazz musician no matter the level.