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FILM REVIEWS

I Called Him Morgan at Belfast Film Festival 2017

Read "I Called Him Morgan at Belfast Film Festival 2017" reviewed by Ian Patterson

I Called Him Morgan (2016) A film by Kasper Collin Belfast Film Festival Strand Arts Centre, jny:Belfast, N. Ireland March 31, 2017 There was something appropriate about the screening of Kasper Collin's documentary I Called Him Morgan in the Strand Arts Centre. The furnishings of this old, art-deco cinema look little changed from the 1950s, when, on the other side of the Atlantic, trumpeter Lee Morgan burst onto the New York jazz scene ...

FILM REVIEWS

I Called Him Morgan by Kasper Collin

Read "I Called Him Morgan by Kasper Collin" reviewed by Christine Connallon

Lee MorganI Called Him Morgan A film by Kasper Collin 2016 Forty five years ago on a precariously snowy night, prolifically talented jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan was fatally wounded at Slug's Saloon in the East Village of jny: New York City, shot down by his common-law wife, Helen, in front of horrified friends and fans at the bar of the venue. Kasper Collin's haunting documentary I Called Him Morgan is a revealing portrait of ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Lee Morgan On Music Matters

Read "Lee Morgan On Music Matters" reviewed by Greg Simmons

Somewhere up in the sky there's a pantheon of jazz legends. Lee Morgan rightfully has a seat in the top tier, and the jam must be extraordinary. Morgan hit the scene in 1956, an obvious prodigy who'd scored two triumphs at the tender age of eighteen: a standing gig in Dizzy Gillespie's big band and the commencement of a prolific recording career as a leader for Blue Note Records. Following his first LP, Indeed, he went on to ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder – 1964

Read "Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder – 1964" reviewed by Marc Davis

What's left to say about Lee Morgan's most popular album, The Sidewinder? How about this: It is one FUN record. That's capital F, capital U, capital N. Anything wrong with that? Sometimes it feels like all the fun has gone out of jazz. As if nothing can be Good unless it is Serious. As if muted Miles and spiritual Trane are the ultimate barometers of true jazz respectability. Hey, I love Miles and Trane and all ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Lee Morgan, Volume Three - 1957

Read "Lee Morgan, Volume Three - 1957" reviewed by Marc Davis

In jazz, as in rock, there's a tendency to overlook composers. Performers get all the nods. Consider Duke Ellington. One of the greatest bandleaders and composers of all time. But Billy Strayhorn? Not as famous--even though he wrote some of Duke's best pieces: “Take the A Train" and “Lush Life" and “Chelsea Bridge." Or consider Dave Brubeck. Justly renowned as a leader, pianist and experimenter of odd tempos. But Paul Desmond? A pretty nifty saxman, but ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Lee Morgan – Volume 2: Sextet – Blue Note 1542

Read "Lee Morgan – Volume 2: Sextet – Blue Note 1542" reviewed by Marc Davis

No one ever bought a record for its weird song titles. (And if they did, Iron Butterfly's psychedelic rock classic In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida would be the best seller of all time.) But still, Lee Morgan Volume 2: Sextet deserves some kind of award in that category. First, there are two songs written by virtual unknown Owen Marshall. “Her Sister" makes you wonder two things: Whose sister? And what is she like? Sexy? Mysterious? Cool? Hard to tell from this tune, ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Lee Morgan Indeed! – Blue Note 1538

Read "Lee Morgan Indeed! – Blue Note 1538" reviewed by Marc Davis

The first time Lee Morgan entered a recording studio, he was just 18 years old and he was leading his own band. More impressive, that band included soon-to-be-legendary pianist Horace Silver and drummer Philly Joe Jones. This is the CD of that 1956 recording session. While the players were great, the music is merely ordinary--which isn't too surprising given the tender age of the leader. Indeed! is standard Blue Note hard bop by the guys who would, in ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Lee Morgan: Search for the New Land

Read "Lee Morgan: Search for the New Land" reviewed by Matt Marshall

Lee Morgan Search for the New Land Blue Note / Music Matters 2009 (1964)

Backed by what may have been his most emphatically modern group, trumpeter Lee Morgan did indeed set out on an exploratory quest in this follow-up to his smash, hard bop gem, The Sidewinder (Blue Note, 1964). The title track, which kicks off the album, is more in-line with the music saxophonist John Coltrane was making at the time--a spiritual, meditative ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Lee Morgan: Tom Cat

Read "Lee Morgan: Tom Cat" reviewed by Matt Marshall

Lee Morgan Tom Cat Blue Note / Music Matters 2008 (1980)

Tom Cat continues Music Matter's program of re-releasing generally unavailable Blue Note sessions from the 1950s and 1960s on 45-rpm vinyl double albums. As Michael Cuscuna explains in the liner notes from the original 1980 release, Tom Cat was the victim of trumpeter Lee Morgan's unexpected crossover hit with The Sidewinder (Blue Note, 1964), which made the pop 100 charts. In the wake ...

BOOK REVIEWS

DelightfuLee: The Life and Music of Lee Morgan

Read "DelightfuLee: The Life and Music of Lee Morgan" reviewed by Larry Reni Thomas

DelightfuLee: The Life and Music of Lee Morgan Jeffrey McMillan Cloth/Paper; 272 pages ISBN: 978-0-472-11502-0/978-0-472-03281-5 University of Michigan Press 2008

This is an excellent, well-written, abundantly researched, scholarly book on the life and music of one of the great, unheralded heroes of jazz--the trumpeter Lee Morgan--who was shot and killed at Slug's Jazz Club in Manhattan in 1972, at the tender age of 33 years, by his 47 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lee Morgan: Lee Morgan

Read "Lee Morgan" reviewed by Samuel Chell

Were it not for the mature and ceaselessly lyrical contributions of tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, this RVG remaster of an eponymous 1956 Lee Morgan date (subtitled, on the backside of the album, Volume 2: Sextet) would appeal only to Morgan completists. The trumpeter's early Blue Note recordings and meteoric rise have already been documented by a number of distinguished Morgan reissues--City Lights, The Cooker, Tom Cat, The Gigolo--coinciding with the 35th anniversary of the gifted player's premature, shocking end. Only ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Lee Morgan: Vols. 2 and 3

Read "Lee Morgan: Vols. 2 and 3" reviewed by Joel Roberts

Lee Morgan was just 18 when he led these exemplary hard bop dates for Blue Note in the winter of 1956 and spring of 1957. But, as these newly remastered Rudy Van Gelder editions attest, the Philadelphia-born trumpet phenom was mature far beyond his years, with a hard-driving, take-no-prisoners style that gained the attention of band leaders like Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie, both of whom hired the precocious teen when he was barely out of school.

Lee Morgan


Waltz for my Childhood

The last single of Jazzy Sky, a sweet Jazz song, about childhood memories...

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