Lee and Helen Morgan. Swedish filmmaker Kasper Collin heard of a rare taped interview with Helen Morgan that was conducted weeks before her 1996 death and embarked upon the journey that resulted in the revelatory new documentary, “I Called Him Morgan,” which will screen at the Boulder International Film Festival on March 4. 26. Related Articles
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“Lee Morgan was unafraid to express himself creatively,” said Dan Braun, who served as co-executive producer of the film. Bret Saunders (firstname.lastname@example.org) can be heard from 6 to 11 a.m. $9-11. It doesn’t matter if it’s about jazz or love or murder, even though it covers all three of those topics. weekday mornings at KBCO 97.3 FM. His wife, Helen, between sets where he was headlining at New York’s Slug’s Saloon, shot Morgan to death. Follow him on Twitter: @Bretontheradio The contemporary interviews with musicians like Wayne Shorter and Jymie Merritt reveal a deep affection for both Lee and Helen Morgan. Biff1.com
Pianist (and Grammy-winner) Don Grusin appears with vocalists Robert Johnson and Teresa Carroll at Boulder’s Dairy Center on Feb. It’s a moving portrait of Morgan’s rise to prominence, his struggles with heroin addiction and the woman who saved him from the gutter before killing him in what appeared to be an act of romantic vengeance. But “I Called Him Morgan” shouldn’t just appeal to jazz aficionados. … Trombone Shorty opens up for the Red Hot Chili Peppers on March 2 at the Pepsi Center. I can’t think of anyone from that era who was comparable.”
The film takes a deep dive into the highs and lows of creative culture in jazz from half a century ago, with sterling footage of Morgan performing with his own groups as well as drummer Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers, where Morgan found his creative footing. He made riveting music on his trumpet that managed to be both commercially appealing and exploratory. 27. on March 4 at The Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street. “If you want to learn about the mood of the human race in New York City in 1961, go see this movie. It evokes a mood that I haven’t seen in a similar film.”
“I Called Him Morgan,” 12:15 p.m. … Miguel Zenon brings his saxophone and quartet to Dazzle Jazz March 2-3, and singer Jane Monheit performs there March 9-11. … Guitarist John Scofield’s “Country For Old Men” group plays the Boulder Theater on Feb. Even though he only lived to 33, Morgan left behind a great deal of music, mostly for the Blue Note label, and his recorded legacy retains an aura of energetic beauty. (Kasper Collin Produktion AB / Courtesy of the Afro-American Newspaper Archives and Research Center)
Lee Morgan was one of the most expressive jazz artists of the 1960s and early ’70s. (Braun will appear at the festival.) “He had an inquisitiveness and openness in his gaze. His 1964 hit “The Sidewinder” helped to usher in the prominence of soul-jazz, and there’s a quality of discovery in his best recordings that make them sound as brash and exciting now as they must have 50 years ago. Anyone familiar with the jazz world knows what a delicate balance that can be, and Morgan maintained a relatively high profile for much of his career, which was cut tragically short in February 1972.