“Today On Earth” is yet another example of Joe Morris’ genius. That sweet, slightly jarring hollow bodied guitar goodness. Trading romatic and jagged barbs with ferocious alto sax, is one of most recent pleasures of free music (and jazz in general). Here Morris trades lines with alto player Jim Hobbs, who is solid and occasionally in the sort of deep zone usually a hallmark of such greats as David S. Ware or Charles Gayle. With Hobbs, Morris is joined by a rhythm section of bassist Timo Shanko and Luther Gray on drums, all three of whom in the past formed the most adventurous of Morris Quartets.
“Today On Earth” is vintage Joe Morris: a tight band, one that gives him room to explore both the outer reaches and the historical implications of jazz guitar, but with explorations that always return generously to the melody, and to the band’s contributions. Nowhere is this more in evident than on “Animal,” where some of the most lyrical improvs are to be found. Likewise, “Ashes” and the appropriately named “Embarrassment of Riches” provide room for Morris to lead the band inside and outside various comfort zones.
A team player who is in a world of his own on his instrument, Joe Morris never ceases to inspire and be inspired. “Today On Earth” is another in his growing list of contemporary classics that can stand with some of the sacred releases in jazz guitar. 8/10 -- Mike Wood (10 February, 2010)