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Lee Morgan Bio and others

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I'm not sure if this has been discussed before but this information has come my way:

Lee Morgan

His Life, Music and Culture

Tom Perchard

This is the first biography of the jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan (1938-72). He was a prodigy-- recruited to Dizzy Gillespie’s big band while still a teenager, he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers not much after. By his early twenties Morgan had played on four continents and dozens of albums. The trumpeter would go on to cultivate a personal and highly influential style, and to make records – most notably The Sidewinder – which would sell numbers of copies almost unheard of in jazz. While what should have been Morgan’s most successful years were hampered by a heroin addiction, the ascendant black liberation movement of the late sixties gave the musician a new, political impulse, and he returned to the jazz scene to become a vociferous campaigner for black musicians’ rights and representation. But Morgan’s personal life remained troubled, and during a fight with his girlfriend at a New York club, he was shot and killed, aged thirty three.

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There are other titles also:

PREZ

The Life and Music of Lester Young

Dave Gelly

Publication Date: January 2007

Jazz Visions

Lennie Tristano and His Legacy

Peter Ind

Publication Date: October 2005

Handful of Keys

Conversations with Thirty Jazz Pianists

Alyn Shipton

EQUINOX PUBLISHING

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Looking forward to picking up this bio !

Equinox has also recently published a good bio of trumpeter/critic Ian Carr, 'Out of the Long Dark'. Recommended.

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"Specifications

ISBN-10 (Hardback) 1845532058

ISBN-13 (Hardback) 9781845532055

Price (Hardback) £18.99/$29.95

Publication Date October 2006

Pages 256

Illustrations black and white photos

Readership general interest

Book Status Not yet published

Contents

1. Introduction: Black Philadelphia

2. Music and opportunity in Tioga

3. Learning and teaching, formal and informal

4. Performance, competition and status in the ‘cool world’

5. The break

6. Quick progress

7. Under Art Blakey’s influence

8. Life in the bebop business and the soul jazz style

9. Blues truth, sound and identity

10, Interlude: jazz criticism and race politics in the early-1960s

11. Symbolism, signification and The Sidewinder

12. Decline and ascent

13. Modes, changes and ‘The Beatles’

14. Drug

15. Organisation and protest

16. Black culture between the national and the universal

17. Teaching tradition and change

18. Conclusion: East 3rd Street "

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Well, I will be adding this one to my collection. Has anyone read any reviews of the book yet?

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He has not talked to any of the Lee Morgan researchers I have been in touch with - they never heard of him.

Bertrand.

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I plan to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Don't worry: even if it's bad, there will be a better one in a few years. You're still young.

Bertrand.

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OH GOD: do u think its gonna be all bullshit? oh god

You mean, like all your posts are?

Oh God!.......

:eye:

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I have not read the new Lee Morgan biography yet, but I plan to as soon as possible. I talked to the author a few months ago. We talked about the exclusive taped interview I conducted with the late Helen Morgan, Lee's ex-wife and killer. We talked for over two hours in February 1996, about a month before her death, about their lives together and about the tragic event in February 1972 when he shot him with a gun he had purchased for her protection. I am a writer/radio announcer with 30 years experience who has produced a program called the Carolina Connection (she was a North Carolina native) in which I profile jazz personalities with a Carolina connection (i.e. Monk, Trane, Max and Nina). The program will soon be available on the internet at carolinajazzconnectionwithlarryrthomas.blogspot.com.

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I have not read the new Lee Morgan biography yet, but I plan to as soon as possible. I talked to the author a few months ago. We talked about the exclusive taped interview I conducted with the late Helen Morgan, Lee's ex-wife and killer. We talked for over two hours in February 1996, about a month before her death, about their lives together and about the tragic event in February 1972 when he shot him with a gun he had purchased for her protection. I am a writer/radio announcer with 30 years experience who has produced a program called the Carolina Connection (she was a North Carolina native) in which I profile jazz personalities with a Carolina connection (i.e. Monk, Trane, Max and Nina). The program will soon be available on the internet at carolinajazzconnectionwithlarryrthomas.blogspot.com.

Welcome Larry, and please let us know when these shows are available.

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I have not read the new Lee Morgan biography yet, but I plan to as soon as possible. I talked to the author a few months ago. We talked about the exclusive taped interview I conducted with the late Helen Morgan, Lee's ex-wife and killer. We talked for over two hours in February 1996, about a month before her death, about their lives together and about the tragic event in February 1972 when he shot him with a gun he had purchased for her protection. I am a writer/radio announcer with 30 years experience who has produced a program called the Carolina Connection (she was a North Carolina native) in which I profile jazz personalities with a Carolina connection (i.e. Monk, Trane, Max and Nina). The program will soon be available on the internet at carolinajazzconnectionwithlarryrthomas.blogspot.com.

larry: that must have been some interview! was she sick at that time? do you know what caused her death? i'd be very interested to read your interview. i knew helen (and lee) slightly in the '60s and '70s.

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Amazing. After years of hearsay, we finally have a date of death for Helen More. She was 48 in 1972 if I remember the obits correctly, so she was roughly 72 when she died.

Larry, any info (and eventually a copy of the interview!) would be greatly appreciated. I'm in touch with several Lee Morgan biographers.

Thanks,

Bertrand.

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According to Amazon's website, the Lee Morgan bio release date is now November 30. At least for us folks in the U.S.

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I don't plan to pay anywhere near $30 for this.

Bertrand.

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I'm curious how larryrthomas found us. Random searching?

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Google "Lee Morgan" and "Jazz", click through to the twelfth page of links.

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A review of this was in today independent (UK)

http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/books/r...icle1963501.ece

Lee Morgan: His life, music and culture by Tom Perchard

By Kevin Le Gendre

Published: 12 November 2006

A roll-call of classic jazz revolutionaries would include names like Charles Mingus, Nina Simone, Archie Shepp and Max Roach. They were the ones banned by the radio and censored by record companies, the ones blacklisted by the establishment. Rather than meekly ask for equal rights for African-Americans in the 1960s, they unapologetically hollered: "We insist! Freedom now."

At first sight, trumpeter Lee Morgan might seem a surprising addition to this pantheon of radicals. His place in jazz history is largely defined by "The Sidewinder", a bouncy boogaloo devoid of the fiery anger of some of Simone's or Shepp's music. Moreover the track has the rare distinction of being jazz that was popular. It was a massive hit in 1964.

However, if you spool forward to 1970 and a television studio in New York, you might well revise your view of Morgan as nothing other than a purveyor of jaunty, finger-snapping tunes that put cornbread soul into jazz. For it was during the recording of Merv Griffin's CBS chat show that another facet of the Philly slicker who zipped around New York in a British sports car was revealed. Morgan was in the audience that night and, as one of the guests lamented the dearth of jazz venues in New York, he and other musicians invaded the set and whipped out whistles and flutes in order to, as Chuck D would later say, bring the noise.

The trumpeter and his fellow rabble-rousers then hoisted placards that read, "Stop the whitewash now, hire more black artists on TV", and, provocatively setting cultural records straight, "Tom Jones rose to fame singing black songs".

Orchestrating the coup was the Jazz and People's Movement (JPM), a protest group formed by Rahsaan Roland Kirk, another agitator who had made potent political statements through his albums Volunteered Slavery, Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata and Blacknuss. JPM was a direct response to the lack of exposure of jazz in broadcast media.

Although the JPM-Griffin affair bears loose parallels to the Sex Pistols-Grundy scandal that took place in Britain several years later, it was infinitely more meaningful, aiming to effect genuine social change rather than kick-start a pop career through the oxygen of publicity and the pollution of infamy.

How shocked some must have been to see Lee Morgan disrupting an entertainment industry that had, for the most part, been good to him. After all, he was one of the few jazz musicians that actually sold records in sizeable quantities in the Sixties and knew what it meant to be a star who could walk out of a club with a girl on each arm and another one in tow carrying his trumpet case.

Yet he was more than a man about town. As this very accomplished biography shows, Morgan led an eventful life that took him from the austere environs of his native Philadelphia to dark alleys, as well as shining pathways in New York. Like Miles Davis, he had a heroin habit. Like Chet Baker, he had his teeth knocked out by a dealer. Many must have thought he'd finish as one of the countless statistics of unfulfilled potential that blight jazz and the genre to which it gave lifestyle lessons, rock 'n' roll. But he managed to make it back from the brink.

Although his addiction earned him the sack from Art Blakey's band, one of the best gigs a jazz musician could hope for in the mid-1950s or early 1960s, the trumpeter nonetheless later returned to the fold and saw his career hit overdrive with the release of "The Sidewinder", a tune apparently written in a few minutes in the studio.

Perchard's text really starts to motor in its analysis of both the musical elements of Morgan's aesthetic and their socio-cultural implications. The pre-eminence of blues and subsequently R&B and soul was not solely borne of a desire to simplify jazz. It was about expressing the truth, and gaining a greater proximity to a black audience.

Morgan would go on to teach and also campaign on behalf of iconic African-American militants like Angela Davis. As a major name in jazz in the Sixties and Seventies, he had to reconcile his desire to see the music institutionalised in order to survive economically with his espousal of Black Nationalism.

The complexities of the situation are effectively evoked. As the British photographer and writer Valerie Wilmer points out, Morgan, for all his civil rights sensibilities, still had a process - chemically straightened hair - at a time when Afros were de rigueur. Most pleasing of all is the way that Perchard actually downplays the sensational nature of his subject's life and death - he was shot by his girlfriend at a club aged just 33 - but vividly paints his portrait against a backdrop of music, culture and politics.

Through a wealth of research and incisive anecdote from his band members and close associates, Morgan emerges as an intriguing, multi-layered figure, a mercurial talent whose material success did not preclude social consciousness or activism.

Miles Davis still casts a long shadow over jazz history, and too many important players struggle to emerge from it. This illuminating biography reminds us that the prematurely departed Lee Morgan also made a significant contribution to "America's most revolutionary art form" in ways both musical and non-musical.

A roll-call of classic jazz revolutionaries would include names like Charles Mingus, Nina Simone, Archie Shepp and Max Roach. They were the ones banned by the radio and censored by record companies, the ones blacklisted by the establishment. Rather than meekly ask for equal rights for African-Americans in the 1960s, they unapologetically hollered: "We insist! Freedom now."

At first sight, trumpeter Lee Morgan might seem a surprising addition to this pantheon of radicals. His place in jazz history is largely defined by "The Sidewinder", a bouncy boogaloo devoid of the fiery anger of some of Simone's or Shepp's music. Moreover the track has the rare distinction of being jazz that was popular. It was a massive hit in 1964.

However, if you spool forward to 1970 and a television studio in New York, you might well revise your view of Morgan as nothing other than a purveyor of jaunty, finger-snapping tunes that put cornbread soul into jazz. For it was during the recording of Merv Griffin's CBS chat show that another facet of the Philly slicker who zipped around New York in a British sports car was revealed. Morgan was in the audience that night and, as one of the guests lamented the dearth of jazz venues in New York, he and other musicians invaded the set and whipped out whistles and flutes in order to, as Chuck D would later say, bring the noise.

The trumpeter and his fellow rabble-rousers then hoisted placards that read, "Stop the whitewash now, hire more black artists on TV", and, provocatively setting cultural records straight, "Tom Jones rose to fame singing black songs".

Orchestrating the coup was the Jazz and People's Movement (JPM), a protest group formed by Rahsaan Roland Kirk, another agitator who had made potent political statements through his albums Volunteered Slavery, Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata and Blacknuss. JPM was a direct response to the lack of exposure of jazz in broadcast media.

Although the JPM-Griffin affair bears loose parallels to the Sex Pistols-Grundy scandal that took place in Britain several years later, it was infinitely more meaningful, aiming to effect genuine social change rather than kick-start a pop career through the oxygen of publicity and the pollution of infamy.

How shocked some must have been to see Lee Morgan disrupting an entertainment industry that had, for the most part, been good to him. After all, he was one of the few jazz musicians that actually sold records in sizeable quantities in the Sixties and knew what it meant to be a star who could walk out of a club with a girl on each arm and another one in tow carrying his trumpet case.

Yet he was more than a man about town. As this very accomplished biography shows, Morgan led an eventful life that took him from the austere environs of his native Philadelphia to dark alleys, as well as shining pathways in New York. Like Miles Davis, he had a heroin habit. Like Chet Baker, he had his teeth knocked out by a dealer. Many must have thought he'd finish as one of the countless statistics of unfulfilled potential that blight jazz and the genre to which it gave lifestyle lessons, rock 'n' roll. But he managed to make it back from the brink.

Although his addiction earned him the sack from Art Blakey's band, one of the best gigs a jazz musician could hope for in the mid-1950s or early 1960s, the trumpeter nonetheless later returned to the fold and saw his career hit overdrive with the release of "The Sidewinder", a tune apparently written in a few minutes in the studio.

Perchard's text really starts to motor in its analysis of both the musical elements of Morgan's aesthetic and their socio-cultural implications. The pre-eminence of blues and subsequently R&B and soul was not solely borne of a desire to simplify jazz. It was about expressing the truth, and gaining a greater proximity to a black audience.

Morgan would go on to teach and also campaign on behalf of iconic African-American militants like Angela Davis. As a major name in jazz in the Sixties and Seventies, he had to reconcile his desire to see the music institutionalised in order to survive economically with his espousal of Black Nationalism.

The complexities of the situation are effectively evoked. As the British photographer and writer Valerie Wilmer points out, Morgan, for all his civil rights sensibilities, still had a process - chemically straightened hair - at a time when Afros were de rigueur. Most pleasing of all is the way that Perchard actually downplays the sensational nature of his subject's life and death - he was shot by his girlfriend at a club aged just 33 - but vividly paints his portrait against a backdrop of music, culture and politics.

Through a wealth of research and incisive anecdote from his band members and close associates, Morgan emerges as an intriguing, multi-layered figure, a mercurial talent whose material success did not preclude social consciousness or activism.

Miles Davis still casts a long shadow over jazz history, and too many important players struggle to emerge from it. This illuminating biography reminds us that the prematurely departed Lee Morgan also made a significant contribution to "America's most revolutionary art form" in ways both musical and non-musical.

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The complexities of the situation are effectively evoked. As the British photographer and writer Valerie Wilmer points out, Morgan, for all his civil rights sensibilities, still had a process - chemically straightened hair - at a time when Afros were de rigueur. Most pleasing of all is the way that Perchard actually downplays the sensational nature of his subject's life and death - he was shot by his girlfriend at a club aged just 33 - but vividly paints his portrait against a backdrop of music, culture and politics.

Just as a point of information, Lee Morgan didn't have a "process". That was his natural hair.

BTW thanks Lazaro for that Billy Hart interview. Outstanding.

Edited by Cali

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The complexities of the situation are effectively evoked. As the British photographer and writer Valerie Wilmer points out, Morgan, for all his civil rights sensibilities, still had a process - chemically straightened hair - at a time when Afros were de rigueur. Most pleasing of all is the way that Perchard actually downplays the sensational nature of his subject's life and death - he was shot by his girlfriend at a club aged just 33 - but vividly paints his portrait against a backdrop of music, culture and politics.

Just as a point of information, Lee Morgan didn't have a "process". That was his natural hair.

do you really know that to be a fact? i'm sure he did "something" to it, that's for sure.

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The complexities of the situation are effectively evoked. As the British photographer and writer Valerie Wilmer points out, Morgan, for all his civil rights sensibilities, still had a process - chemically straightened hair - at a time when Afros were de rigueur. Most pleasing of all is the way that Perchard actually downplays the sensational nature of his subject's life and death - he was shot by his girlfriend at a club aged just 33 - but vividly paints his portrait against a backdrop of music, culture and politics.

Just as a point of information, Lee Morgan didn't have a "process". That was his natural hair.

do you really know that to be a fact? i'm sure he did "something" to it, that's for sure.

That wavy shine was not natural. Lee did "something" as she said.

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The complexities of the situation are effectively evoked. As the British photographer and writer Valerie Wilmer points out, Morgan, for all his civil rights sensibilities, still had a process - chemically straightened hair - at a time when Afros were de rigueur. Most pleasing of all is the way that Perchard actually downplays the sensational nature of his subject's life and death - he was shot by his girlfriend at a club aged just 33 - but vividly paints his portrait against a backdrop of music, culture and politics.

Just as a point of information, Lee Morgan didn't have a "process". That was his natural hair.

do you really know that to be a fact? i'm sure he did "something" to it, that's for sure.

That wavy shine was not natural. Lee did "something" as she said.

i remember he nodded out on a radiator and burned his head/forehead once. as i remember it, that's why he plastered his hair down to cover the scar.

Edited by ValerieB

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The complexities of the situation are effectively evoked. As the British photographer and writer Valerie Wilmer points out, Morgan, for all his civil rights sensibilities, still had a process - chemically straightened hair - at a time when Afros were de rigueur. Most pleasing of all is the way that Perchard actually downplays the sensational nature of his subject's life and death - he was shot by his girlfriend at a club aged just 33 - but vividly paints his portrait against a backdrop of music, culture and politics.

Just as a point of information, Lee Morgan didn't have a "process". That was his natural hair.

do you really know that to be a fact? i'm sure he did "something" to it, that's for sure.

I was in his company on occasion and saw him several times. I know a "process" when I see one, I've been around that all my life. Several of my friends, who happen to be black, have hair just as straight as Lee. Also, I knew Billy Higgins and Billy and Lee were very tight. Billy said it was natural.

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