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.[1] 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.

Selected discographyEdit

As leader/co-leaderEdit

  • Wraparound (Riti, 1983)
  • Human Rites (Riti, 1987)
  • Sweatshop (Riti, 1988–90)
  • Flip & Spike (Riti, 1992)
  • Symbolic Gesture (Soul Note, 1993)
  • Racket Club (About Time, 1993)
  • Illuminate (Leo, 1993)
  • No Vertigo (Leo, 1995)
  • You Be Me (Soul Note, 1995)
  • Elsewhere (Homestead, 1996)
  • Like Rays (Knitting Factory, 1996)
  • Invisible Weave (No More, 1997)
  • Antennae (AUM Fidelity, 1997)
  • Deep Telling (Okkadisk, 1998)
  • A Cloud of Black Birds (AUM Fidelity, 1998)
  • Many Rings (Knitting Factory, 1999)
  • Underthru (OmniTone, 1999)
  • Soul Search (AUM Fidelity, 1999)
  • At the Old Office (Knitting Factory, 1999)
  • Singularity (AUM Fidelity, 2000)
  • Age of Everything (Riti, 2002)
  • Beautiful Existence (Clean Feed, 2004)
  • Tooth And Nail (Clean Feed, 2010, with Nate Wooley)
  • Graffiti In Two Parts (Rogue Art, 2012)

As sidemanEdit

With Joe Maneri


  1. McCoy, Wilson. "Joe Morris: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 January 2011. 

External linksEdit

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