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Shannon Dickey

"DELIGHTFULEE" Lee Morgan Biography...

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I just picked up Jeffery S. McMillan's new biography on Lee Morgan, titled "Delightfulee, the Life and Music of Lee Morgan" 250 pages, illustrated.

I have yet to crack the spine, but hopefully it will be worth the $ 22.95.

Anybody out there checked this out yet?? Comments??

I will start reading this today.

Best,

HB

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This is an excellent, well-written, abundantly-researched, scholarly book on the life and music of one of the great, unheralded

heroes of jazz, who was shot and killed at Slug's Jazz Club in Manhattan in 1972, at the tender age of 33-years-old, by his 47-year-old, common-law wife, Helen Morgan. McMillan, a trumpet player and writer, is obviously smitten by Lee's music and his ability to always rise to the occasion. Morgan's short and resilient time on earth was troubled, drug-riddled and quite fruitful musically as McMillan documents quite superbly. McMillan, who was aided by Lee's brother Jimmy, has uncovered information that previous researchers have failed to come up with--like the precise itinerary of Lee; quotations from Helen Morgan and the fact that Mrs. Morgan's court records are missing. We also learn that Morgan was legally married once to Kiko Morgan and now we know who is probably getting his royalty checks. McMillan's only shortcoming is his tendency to give long, detailed analysis of Lee's recording sessions. They tend to be oriented toward musicians, take up a great deal of book, maybe a one-third, and read like reviews which would be perfect for a periodical, but are a bit tedious for a book. Yet, the biography, after all, is very interesting and worth being in all jazz lovers' library, especially the ones who would learn to not make the same mistakes Lee made.

Larry Reni Thomas

carolinajazzconnectionwithlarrythomas.blogspot.com

Writer--"The Lady Who Shot Lee Morgan

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'We also learn that Morgan was legally married once to Kiko Morgan and now we know who is probably getting his royalty checks'.

McMillan's book is indeed excellent, but that particular item is hardly new information - I've known this for 15 years.

He and Kiko split up but never divorced, so indeed she is the legal heir. Helen More/Morgan is often referred to as Lee's common-law wife, but that is just plain wrong. It is a misunderstanding Lee did nothing to correct and may have had a part in propagating. In particular, Jimmy had Lee's copies of his own records, and they had 'property of Lee and Helen Morgan' written on the jackets.

Bertrand.

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