Jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan had a short career, partly as a leader and as a sideman for Coltrane, Gillespie, Wayne Shorter and Art Blakey. Here he is as leader with that last one on drums, recorded (again) by Rudy van Gelder on Bluenote. I do not know Lee Morgan that well, but this recording is really beautiful.

Lee recorded a total of 32 records in 16 years, prolific indeed. His career was stopped short after a gig in New York’s East Village. Earlier that evening he had an argument with his common-law wife (A term I didn’t know, thank you wiki!). After the concert Helen Morgan shot him. Mortally wounded, Lee was raced to the hospital, but arrived there too late. The streets were slippery because of the snow that had fallen that night. Lee bled to death before he could reach the hospital.

Swedish film director Kaspar Collin made the documentary I called him Morgan about the two. Helen Morgan went to prison for what she did, but was released on parole. She died in 1996.

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