Probably a stupid title, but I'm not sure how to put it. I saw a duo performance by Frank Morgan and Cyrus Chestnut tonight, and Morgan's tone was so gorgeous I actually got a lump in my throat that stayed there for almost an entire set. From the first note, he caressed every single sound that came out of his horn from the beginning of each note to the end, and phrased the melodies in such a way that had me thinking, "there's no way a younger man could have played that". It was almost like he was praying through his horn...softly, as if he knew that god wasn't the least bit deaf and didn't particularly care to be shouted at. He could seemingly convey more meaning with a single note than most players can with a hundred. I was completely spellbound the entire set. At one point after a tune, he smiled and said, "man, it's good to be alive, isn't it?". I knew I had just heard something very special, and yet very familiar at the same time. His tone had something in it that I think of as "the spirit of jazz" (although I don't want to belabor or argue that point - it was just my own personal impression) - that sound of something very simple that is packed full of soul and meaning, like the words of a zenmaster or true holy man. I remember thinking, "what is that thing that seems so familiar?" I couldn't say, but at the same time, I remember thinking that Miles had it, and Joe Henderson had it, and Ray Brown, Getz, Mulligan, Dexter, Jarrett, Evans...all these guys have their own gorgeous tone that's almost instantly recognizable, and yet there's some thread that ties them all together. It's too damn late for me to think straight, but I think it was some sort of musical peace and clarity of intention I was hearing, some sort of pure musical flow that seems to come from a higher place through the performer. At any rate, it was a great show, and I guess I wanted a chance to rave about it. But if anyone knows what I'm talking about with this sound I'm trying to describe (and yes, I was and am sober at the time) and wants to chime in with their thoughts, I'd love to hear 'em.