Here’s what our special guest, trumpeter Terell Stafford, has to say about Lee Morgan in the liner notes to his album Brotherlee Love: “Lee was a total genius. The trumpet was merely a vehicle to express who he was. There was rasp, there was grit, there was personality, there was sass, exactly who he was as a person was inside of his sound and that’s what I loved about it.” Tonight’s film beautifully captures Morgan’s short, dramatic life and lasting impact on jazz. The Terell Stafford Quintet will channel his dynamic sound in a performance following the screening.
FILM: I Called Him Morgan
“A revelatory and moving portrait of a great musician and the other great people, whether celebrated or unheralded, on whom his art and his life depended.” (New Yorker) On a snowy night in February 1972, famed jazz musician Lee Morgan was shot dead by his common-law wife, Helen, during a gig at a New York City club. The murder sent shockwaves through the jazz community, and the memory of the event still haunts those who knew them. This affecting documentary tells the intertwining tale of two vibrant and complicated people and the music that brought them together. A film about love, jazz, black America in the age of Jim Crow—and the exuberant artistry that arose in response to those times